United Nations
United Nations 18 Nov 2020

International Day of Eliminating Violence against Women


Join @unwomen on 25 November at the official commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women! Let's #orangetheworld, stand together and kick off the #16Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

Press Conference by Natalia Kanem, UNFPA's Executive Director, and journalist and writer, Isha Sesay, who was introduced today as UNFPA's newest Goodwill Ambassador.

In this new role, Isha Sesay will help raise awareness about the global scourge of violence against women and girls and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation.


Award-winning journalist and author Isha Sesay became a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador in the fight to end violence against women, female genital mutilation and child marriages.

As an anchor and correspondent at CNN for more than a decade, Sesay broke the story of the abduction of 276 girls from their school in Chibok, Nigeria in 2014. She was the only journalist on the ground to accompany 21 of the girls back home in 2016. Her reporting was the driving force behind the global #BringBackOurGirls movement.

"UNFPA could not have anybody more determined and passionate at our side to uphold women and girls' rights, especially their right to live free of violence and abuse," said Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in a virtual press conference on Wednesday (25 Nov).

"Ms. Sesay has dedicated her life and career to upholding the rights of women and girls, and to lending her voice to issues at the heart of the UNFPA mandate. She is the partner that UNFPA needs as we take the road to 2030 and as we fight to end maternal deaths, to end unmet need for family planning and, of course, to end gender-based violence and harmful practices," Kanem said.

In her family's home country of Sierra Leone, Isha is the founder and head of W.E (Women Everywhere) Can Lead, an NGO that works to empower, educate, and support adolescent girls in fulfilling their full potential.

"I am from Sierra Leone and I'm also from a family in which my grandfather - one of his wives was someone on whom it was performed FGM she was what we call a cutter," said Sesay. "And so I come from a family where this practice is known. My mother has served as a survivor from a country where up to 90% of women are subjected to FGM so this is an issue that I'm very much going to be taking on as a Goodwill Ambassador with the UNFPA team."

Her nomination to UNFPA Good Ambassador came at the onset of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, a global campaign to end abuse and discrimination against women and girls. According to the UNFPA, violence continues to rise amid the pandemic, with 15 million additional instances of gender-based violence projected for every three months of lockdown.

"I just really want to say that as we marked today the beginning of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, we have to come together and as UNFPA we are already saying enough. Enough to all forms of violence against women and girls, and I'll be using, you know my voice, and my privilege and my position in the months and years ahead to ensure that message is heard loud and clear," Sesay said.
CGTN's Mike Walter talks to Afra Zhao Wang - Host of Loud Murmurs, a Chinese-language podcast about American pop culture - about China's plan to end violence against women.
Tune in LIVE for the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime and the 72nd anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

This year's event highlights the importance of listening to the voices of victims, and analyzing the outcome and impact of international justice, including criminal justice and reparation, on their lives. The event also discusses the achievements, challenges and lessons learned in granting justice for victims of Genocide and related crimes through the experiences of international judges and experts, in the pursuit of peace and stability and preventing the recurrence of these crimes.
On this show we've often flagged the toxic culture of online speech. Now comes Covid. Just how much has all that extra screen time these past months amplified and enabled toxic behavior? When people feel alienated or threatened, one reaction is to pick on others, to bully,  and the number one targets are women. From cyberbullying classmates to abusive partners and total strangers who feel they can just let loose, how much of a toll has this pandemic taken on women? We ask our panel  what can be done to stop online violence.

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