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November 25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Italy reaffirms its firm commitment to the fight against all forms of discrimination and violence against women, which continues to be a serious and unacceptable obstacle to their enjoyment of their rights and to their personal fulfillment. It is one of the priorities of Italy’s foreign policy, led by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in both diplomatic negotiations and development assistance. Further testament to this commitment is Italy’s role at the forefront of numerous international campaigns, such as those for the eradication of female genital mutilation and early and forced marriage.

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its network of diplomatic missions around the world have joined the #OrangetheWorld awareness campaign, promoted by UN Women and focusing this year on the fight against rape, a grievous and widespread form of violence affecting one out of three women. The campaign is also associated with #GenerationEquality which, on the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration, invites us all to take important new steps toward gender equality, an objective no country can yet claim to have reached.

A closer look – Italy’s commitment to eliminating gender-based violence

Italy is actively committed to the promotion of the rights of women and girls, in its bilateral relations with other States, in International organizations, and in development assistance programs, for the full realization of the SDG 5 Sustainable Development goal of the 2030 Agenda. The the prevention of and the fight against violence against women is also among Italy’s priorities in its current mandate as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) (2019-2021).

On the occasion of the recent Nairobi Summit for the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), Italy announced new commitments in long-time priority areas such as female genital mutilation and early and forced marriage, practices which violate the integrity of women’s and girls’ mental and physical health. Action is also being taken to reduce maternal mortality rates and to support the emancipation of young women in the areas of sexual and reproductive health. In addition, Italy’s 2017-2020 National Strategic Plan on male violence against women, which implements the Istanbul Convention on violence against women and domestic violence, contains important commitments for the protection of women and girls.

Italy also supports international initiatives for the prevention of and the fight against sexual and gender violence in conflict and emergency situations (among them the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-based Violence in Emergencies), as well as in its development assistance and humanitarian aid programs (for example the OECD-DAC recommendation of this year). Italy has also long been committed a zero-tolerance policy against abuse and sexual exploitation by military and civilian personnel engaged in UN peace missions.