25 November 2015 –UN Gender Theme Group in Ukraine together with Members of Parliament, representatives from Government and civil society held a press briefing to launch a nation-wide information campaign“16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence” under framework of the United Nations Secretary General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a remarkable date in the calendar of world community and national civil society to draw public attention to a aggravate violation of women’s human rights, which is violence against women and girls.

Given astonishing numbers of revealed statistics at least 22% of women in Ukraine aged 15-49 have experienced at least one form of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. The real figures are much higher as survivors of gender-based violence rarely report the cases as there is evident shortage of services and protection. As was informed, only 30% of violence cases are reported to the respective state and social authorities.

Driven by the idea to expose the most important figures on gender-based violence in Ukraine, advise on actions to be taken to prevent or report on cases of violence the experts of the United Nations elaborated and presented a Factsheet on Gender-based Violence in Ukraine, its root causes and effects as well as a useful information about available services and the national hotline (0-800-500-335) operating to help those who experienced violence.

“We need adopt efficient legislative measures in Ukraine to prevent and eradicate different forms of gender-based violence in Ukraine: including domestic violence and cases of conflict related sexual violence in the east of the country. To this end, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) shall be implemented in Ukraine”, said the panel speaker, Member of Parliament, Iryna Lutsenko.

“It`s of utmost importance the government, Parliament, civil society, women’s organizations, men, young people, the private sector, the media, development partners and the UN Agencies join forces in addressing violence against women and girls in Ukraine. This is what the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign is about. This year, more than 35 state institutions and civil society organizations joined the Campaign. During the 16 Days of Activism they will organize versatile awareness raising and educational activities - from theater performances and photo exhibitions to open lessons at schools and trainings -to convey Say NO To Violence against women and girls. In fact, a strong partnership and multi-sectoral approach is needed to prevent and eliminate violence”, shared UN Women Gender Advisor in Ukraine, UN Gender Theme Group Chair, Anastasiya Divinskaya.

During media event the Calendar of the campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence” encompassing more than 100 events organized jointly with UN funds, agencies and programmes, including UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNHCR, UN Women, IOM, UNFPA Ukraine in 20 different cities and towns in Ukraine was presented. The 16 Days of Activism calls upon activists, governments, parliaments, civil society organizations and UN partners in Ukraine to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls.

The full version of Calendar of “16 Days of Violence against Gender-based Violence” campaign and Factsheet is available for general public disposal and can be downloaded at UN in Ukraine official web-page www.un.org.ua