Annually, on November 25, the United Nations calls on the peoples of the world including development partners, activists and communities to action to prevent and end violence against women and girls.
In 2008, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, launched the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls around the world.
The year 2015 marks the 20-year anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most progressive roadmap to gender equality. World leaders met in March at the United Nations 59th Commission on the Status of Women and in September at the 70th General Assembly to take stock of the progress made and commit to take action to close the gaps that are holding women and girls back. This year a new Sustainable Development agenda, which for the first time includes specific targets and indicators on ending violence against women, also replaces the Millennium Development Goals.
The African Development Bank Group is marking its solidarity with the UN by organizing a Bank-wide awareness campaign led by the Office of the Special Envoy on Gender. The campaign runs from November 25 to December 10, and features a variety of mini events and initiatives. These events are taking place at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, its regional centres and field offices across the continent.
Violence against women is a global issue that touches everyone, without distinction of race, sex, class or religion.
The African Development Bank acknowledges the inherently complex environment of violence against girls and women. However, with the theme Women at the Forefront of Development: The Fight against Violence, the Bank’s Special Envoy on Gender, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi places emphasis on a collective, principled and strategic exploration of issues attuned to real problems at hand. This includes ensuring that the African Development Bank’s operations aim to achieve meaningful outcomes in the fight against gender-based violence.