On the occasion of the 2021 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and its foreign network join the awareness-raising campaign “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!” launched by UN Women. This year, the campaign aims at preventing all forms of violence, listening to the victims and changing discriminatory social norms to promote effective gender equality.
The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures have exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities and contributed significantly to the rise in cases of domestic violence and abuse against women, girls and children in situations of armed conflict and humanitarian crisis.
Faced with these alarming figures, Italy once again expresses its firmest condemnation of all forms of discrimination and violence against women, an unacceptable phenomenon and a serious impediment to the achievement of gender equality, the effective enjoyment of rights and full personal fulfilment.
To date, no country in the world can claim to have achieved full gender equality: the entire international community must therefore continue to firmly pursue this essential goal.
The objectives of the elimination of all forms of violence against women and of women’s empowerment, pillars of Italian foreign policy and development cooperation, have been at the heart of Italy’s G20 Presidency and are among the priorities of Italy’s mandate in the United Nations Human Rights Council and Italy’s six-month Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, where Italy supports and promotes the “Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence” (or “Istanbul Convention”).
This commitment was also confirmed by the active role that Italy took, in response to the crisis in Afghanistan, in protecting and promoting the rights of Afghan women, girls and children, the safeguard of their right to education, freedom of movement and full participation in public life.
With regard to the internal organisation of working methods, on October 15 the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation adopted the Circular letter No. 3/2021 to guarantee equal gender opportunities by conforming to the highest standards for promoting gender equality, stressing the need to ensure the concrete implementation, in daily work, of the constitutional principle of equality, in terms of both the prohibition of discrimination and the active promotion of effective equality.