Mr Palm's address on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November 2010
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women -Launching 16-days of activism against gender violence 2010
“It is time to end violence against women and girls!” Most of us here will readily agree. Violence against women is always unacceptable; it is always a violation of human rights; and it is always a crime.
We applaud the government for having a National Strategy on Gender Equality and Against Domestic Violence. Efforts are underway to implement this strategy. Parliamentarians have adopted the Law on Domestic Violence. Efforts are underway to make sure that law enforcement agencies and prosecutors and judges know how to apply it.
Still, we know that gender based violence is one of the most persistent and widespread troubles in society. To speak out against violence against women and girls is all our business. Those, who look the other way, and don't say anything, do not understand the severity of the issue. Everybody must play its role in ending this mindless violence. Domestic violence is not a matter that stays within the four walls of a home. It is a public concern. We have to get this message out to those, who have not understood this yet.
To increase the public outcry against domestic violence, member states of the United Nations designated the 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This was 11 years ago. Since then, the United Nations encourage governments and civil society groups to organize activities around the issue. Each year, the 25 November kicks off the “16 Days of Activism”, to raise public awareness about gender-based violence. The 16 days end on 10 December, when Human Rights are celebrated world-wide.
For the last 11 years, worldwide engagement has widened. More frequently, men and boys join the efforts to prevent this scandalous violation of women’s human rights. No longer are women’s organizations alone. Last August at the fifth World Youth Conference in Mexico, young activists from around the world were clear in their message: “It’s time to end violence against women and girls”!
This year, the General Assembly created the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, to be known as UN Women. UN Women promotes gender equality and the empowerment of women, and hold the United Nations system accountable for supporting the elimination of discrimination and violence against women.
The UN agencies in Albania join the global campaign UNiTE to end violence against women. We are determined to keep up the message of UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon that “all of us have a responsibility to end violence against women and that each of us must speak out in our families, workplaces and communities, so that violence against women will cease”.
Many UN agencies have combined their resources to support Albania in the implementation of the National Strategy on Gender Equality and Domestic Violence. We support the government to strengthen legislation on domestic violence and violence against women; we help to orient the police, magistrates, health workers and other professionals to respond and prevent domestic violence, and to improve their services to victims; we help to gather and use data; and help to build family protection units around the country. We know that much more needs to be done, to turn public opinion once and for all against violence against women and girls.
Today we start the days of activism. We encourage everyone to be participate and be active against violence, not only for 16 days, but as long as it takes to end domestic violence and violence against women.