Brussels, 25 November 2021/OACPS: On the occasion of the annual commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November each year, H.E. Mr Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, Secretary-General of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), recalls that violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights that currently knows no borders. He notes that globally, women’s rights have experienced significant regression particularly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic where restrictions to contain the pandemic have increased levels of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls.

Secretary-General Chikoti acknowledges that the increase in the rate of violence against women and girls calls for strong commitment by all to eliminate all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, particularly domestic violence and all forms of harassment in the public and private spheres. In this regard, he calls for increased support for ground-breaking initiatives, such as safe cities and safe public places for women and girls, which are aimed towards the prevention of sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public places.

The Secretary-General welcomes the choice of this year’s theme, “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”, which advocates for the prevention of pervasive, gender-based violence against women and girls, and reaffirms the unequivocal commitment of the OACPS to combat violence against women and girls. H.E. Chikoti supports the activities launched by its Members and international partners, and in particular, UNWomen, to raise awareness of this scourge. Key activities of importance are, inter alia, the annual 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, and the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign.

The Secretary-General calls on the Members of the OACPS and the international community to commit to put in place comprehensive strategies that will tackle root causes of violence against women and girls, transform harmful social norms, provide services for survivors and end impunity.

Image: UNWomen