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|Location:||Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire|
“The African Development Bank invests in human capital. Violence against women and girls destroys half of the biggest asset Africa has – its people.” – Donald Kaberuka, AfDB President
The African Development Bank (AfDB) is supporting the United Nations’ UNiTE campaign to ‘orange your neighbourhood’ for November 25, 2014 – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The AfDB will participate in 16 days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, from November 25 to December 10, 2014, Human Rights Day.
By oranging its website, afdb.org, the Bank aims to raise awareness and amplify the message that violence against women and girls across Africa has to stop. This is particularly important given that 2015 is the African Union’s Year of Women's Empowerment and Development Towards Africa's Agenda 2063.
Violence against women and girls is a global issue and ranges from structural violence to domestic violence as well as rape as a weapon in conflict, female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage to attacks on girls in education. Rates of sexual violence against women in Africa are over 45%, 10% higher than the global average.*
The cost of violence is extremely high and includes lost productivity, costs to services and human suffering. While limited data exists for Africa, countries such as the US and UK have estimated that domestic or partner violence costs the economy billions of dollars every year.
The Bank invests in human capital. To deliver the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy to transform the African continent, women and girls need to realise their full potential free from violence. The Bank is well placed to promote inclusive growth and champion women’s empowerment with its Regional Member Countries, business and civil society partners and donors. The Bank’s Gender Strategy focuses on three priorities: legal status and property rights; economic empowerment, and knowledge management and capacity building. The Bank’s Special Envoy on Gender, Geraldine J Fraser Moleketi is leading this call to action and tracking the Bank’s delivery. In its projects and flagship initiatives the Bank is working to promote opportunities for all Africans.
The Bank’s campaign slogan for November 25, 2014 is: ‘AfDB goes orange: End all forms of Violence Against Women’. To mark November 25 and 16 Days of Activism, the Bank’s website and intranet platforms will ‘go orange’.
The Bank will officially launch the campaign with an event on November 25 at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan with opening remarks by AfDB President Donald Kaberuka and the Special Envoy on Gender alongside statements by the Minister for Solidarity, Family and Women, Côte d’Ivoire, and UN Women’s Resident Representative. The event will feature a live performance from local women’s drumming group, Les Femmes Battantes. Staff are invited to wear orange or orange arm bands with the campaign slogan in support of the cause and campaign.
* Source: WHO 2013, Global and Regional Estimates of Violence against Women