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

Italy reaffirms its strong commitment to the fight against all forms of discrimination and violence against women, which continues to be a serious and unacceptable obstacle to the enjoyment of women’s rights and their full personal fulfilment. This is a priority commitment of our country’s foreign policy, which the Farnesina carries out both at the diplomatic-negotiation level and at the development cooperation level. This is demonstrated by numerous international campaigns, such as those for the eradication of female genital mutilation (FGM) and early and forced marriages, which have always seen Italy at the forefront.

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Farnesina and its foreign network adhere to the awareness-raising campaign #OrangetheWorld, promoted by UN Women, which in 2019 is focused on the fight against rape, a form of gender violence particularly hateful and widespread, of which one in three women in the world has been a victim in her life. The campaign will also be associated with the hashtag #GenerationEquality which, recalling the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration on Women, invites everyone to take important new steps towards gender equality: a goal that no country in the world can claim to have achieved to date.

Analysis – Italy’s commitment to the elimination of gender-based violence

Italy is actively engaged in the promotion of the rights of women, young girls and children, in bilateral relations with other States, in international organizations and in development cooperation programs, for the full achievement of the sustainable development objective SDG 5 of Agenda 2030. The prevention and fight against all forms of violence against women is also one of the priorities of Italy’s current mandate in the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the United Nations (2019-2021).

In recent days, at the Nairobi Summit for the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), Italy announced new commitments in areas that have always been priorities, such as the fight against seriously harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and early and forced marriages, which involve violations of the integrity of the physical and mental health of women and girls, as well as for the reduction of maternal mortality and for the emancipation of young women in matters of sexual and reproductive health. The National Strategy Plan on Male Violence against Women 2017-2020, which implements the Istanbul Convention on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, also includes important commitments to protect women and girls.

Italy also supports international initiatives to prevent and combat sexual and gender-based violence in conflict and emergency situations (including the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies), as well as in development cooperation and humanitarian aid (e.g. this year’s OECD-DAC Recommendation). Italy has long been committed to promoting a zero-tolerance policy against sexual abuse and exploitation committed by military and civilian personnel involved in UN peacekeeping missions.