Tue 30-11-2021 22:40 PM
DUBAI, 30th November, 2021 (WAM) -- The General Women's Union, in collaboration with the UN Women, has organised a panel discussion titled "Violence against women, its causes and ways to prevent it", at the UN Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The panel discussion is held in conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is marked on 25 November and the ensuing 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence which follow (ending on December, 10 Human Rights Day). The 16-Day campaign is marked around the world to call attention to the urgent need to end violence against women and girls.
The opening remarks were delivered by Noura Al Suwaidi Secretary-General of the General Women's Union, Dr. Dena Assaf, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for the United Arab Emirates and the Deputy Commissioner-General of the United Nations at Expo 2020 Dubai, Andrea Matteo Fontana, Ambassador of the European Union to the United Arab Emirates & Commissioner-General for Expo 2020 and Dr. Mouza Al-Shehhi, Director of the UN Women- Liaison Office for the GCC.
The panel discussion focused on three key topics; policies and legislation and their role in protecting women, the role of national mechanisms and programs to protect women from violence and finally, violence as a rising global phenomenon and how societies can uproot it. Participants in the panel were Captain Dr. Hawa Al-Raisi, Director of the Awareness, Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Interior, Dr. Amal Mahmoud Abdel-Aal, Legal Adviser to Abu Dhabi Shelter and Humanitarian Care Centre (Ewa'a), and Mahra Rashid Al Qubaisi, Director of Ewa'a.
Noura Al Suwaidi Secretary-General of the General Women's Union said "The UAE has a clear vision on the importance of effective mechanisms to protect women, based on our firm belief that women have human rights that cannot be violated. It is the firm stance of the Government, and H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), that Women are effective partners in establishing stable and secure societies, and guaranteeing their protection and rights is an investment in development and growth."
Andrea Matteo Fontana, Ambassador of the European Union to the United Arab Emirates & Commissioner-General for Expo 2020 said "The European Union has made it one of its key priorities to prevent and combat all forms of gender-based violence through all its instruments. Within our borders, we want to propose new concrete measures to prevent violence against women and girls, including online, to protect and support victims, improve their access to justice, and to ensure better coordination between competent authorities. We also hope to be able to extend the list of ‘EU crimes' to cover hate speech and hate crime."
"Internationally, we have adopted the Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment. The Action Plan celebrated its first anniversary on 25 November. It provides an ambitious policy framework to achieve a gender equal world and empower women and girls globally."
Dr. Dena Assaf, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for the United Arab Emirates and the Deputy Commissioner-General of the United Nations at Expo 2020 Dubai, said " We are delighted to host this panel discussion at the UN Pavilion at Expo 2020 to celebrate the 16-Day campaign, and to highlight the importance of policies, protection mechanisms and national programs that ensure the safety of all women and girls. The United Nations continues to support the UAE's efforts to eliminate violence against women. In particular, the UAE's commitment to promoting women's rights in all sectors and creating a safe environment for them. It is therefore important that the GWU, the government and civil society partners, who are with us at the UN pavilion today, to send a strong message about the need for collaboration and concerted efforts to end violence against women."
Dr. Mouza Al-Shehhi, Director of the UN Women- Liaison Office for the GCC, noted that " UN Women Liaison Office for the GCC is delighted to collaborate with GWU and other national stakeholders to bring to the forefront the issue of escalating violence against women and to look together for meaningful and strategic solutions. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has expressed, on more than one occasion, that violence against women and girls is a global challenge that violates human rights, and that the Covid-19 crisis has created a shadow pandemic of high levels of violence against women due to the exceptional circumstances that the world has experienced. UN Women urges all countries to take all possible legislative and societal measures to end this dangerous trend now."
The UAE rejects violence against women based on its vision of rejecting all forms of violence, extremism, and hatred speech, and upholding the values of tolerance, peace, and co-existence. The principle of gender equality in education, employment, access to assistance, social and health benefits, among others, is a constitutional right. Moreover, in November 2021 and as part of its Golden Jubilee celebrations, the UAE announced unprecedented law reforms, granting women residing in the country more rights and protection.