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Press release

MTV and UNiTE launch “The brave are not violent” Campaign in Latin America and the Caribbean

Calls for children and youth to be part of the solution to end violence against women

QUITO, 10 July 2013 – MTV Latin America and UNiTE, the United Nations Secretary-General’s campaign to end violence against women, launched “El Valiente no es Violento” (“The brave are not violent”) initiative today in Ecuador aiming to make the youth of Latin America and the Caribbean a part of the solution to this serious problem.

The campaign is spearheaded by UN Women, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA and PAHO/WHO, and comes against the backdrop of alarming figures in the Americas, which show that 29.8% of women have been victims of physical or sexual abuse by a partner, and 10.7% have experienced sexual violence by an outsider.

“In this region, spousal or partner violence is the most common form of violence against women,” said UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Bernt Aasen at the campaign launch. “Added to that, approximately 90% of children involved in domestic work are girls, which increases the risk of violence and sexual abuse. And in Central America, two out of three women who are killed die due to gender-based violence,” he added

Aasen said that violence, including gender-based violence, is one of the biggest problems in Latin America and the Caribbean, and emphasized that strategies to end it must reach not only the current generation of men and women but also children and adolescents.

The initiative calls young people to be brave and carry out extraordinary and at the same time simple, everyday acts, at home, at school, or in the community, to help break stereotypes and change ‘macho’ behaviors and attitudes that can provoke or justify such violence.

The campaign aims particularly for young men to rethink the meaning of “brave” and to give masculinity a new meaning, with positive actions to end violence against women and girls. Regional and national activities are planned to provide a space where children and youth can explore what it can really mean to ‘be a man’ and become allies to eradicate violence. The activities are intended to instill a zero tolerance attitude towards gender based violence.

According to Aasen, to prevent and eliminate gender-based violence means engaging men from their childhood to change gender perceptions and stereotypes. UNICEF is joining the campaign because engaging children is “essential to enable girls and women to live in a world that guarantees the exercise of their rights without any discrimination.”

The “El Valiente no es Violento” campaign was launched at a party organized with the support of the Municipality of Quito. In the ceremony, the MTV DJ Mauricio Parra announced a contest calling on the youth in the region to submit original and creative proposals in different areas – such as sports, theatre, music, or social networks – to end violence against women and girls. The winning project will be highlighted in MTV Agentes de Cambio (MTV Agents of Change). Contest rules are available on the MTV website.

About the Campaign UNiTE

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, launched the global campaign UNiTE to end violence against women in 2008. Through it, Mr Ban highlights the need for efforts to prevent violence against women, to go beyond awareness raising of the male population, to promote a change in attitudes towards non-violent and equal societies, and incorporate men as part of the solution and not just part of the problem. At launch, he pointed out that “violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable”.

UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
For more information:
Caterina de Tena
Secretary General’s Campaign UNiTE to end violence against women.

Andrés López
UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean




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