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Engaging men as frontliners in violence against women and children prevention and response amid COVID-19

November 26, 2020 | 08:10

On the morning of November 24, "White Ribbon Breakfast - The role of men as frontliners in violence against women and children prevention and response under the context of COVID-19 pandemic" was held by the Department of Labor - Trade Social Affairs and the People's Committee of District 1, the Department of Tourism of Ho Chi Minh City with support from UN Women and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

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Engaging men as frontliners in violence against women and children prevention response amid covid 19
Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Country Representative of UN Women in Vietnam, stressed that men are the important agent for ending violence against women and girls. Photo: UNODC/Ngoc

The breakfast was co-organized in response to the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign and Vietnam’s action month for gender equality and the prevention of gender-based violence, VNA reported.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee of HCM City’s District 1 Mai Thi Hong Hoa called for greater engagement on the part of men to carry out measures ending gender-based violence, and affirmed that ensuring the safety of women and girls is important in building an equal and civilised society.

She said that images of doctors, armed forces, flight crews, volunteers, and service providers on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 are valuable for communications campaigns, since they show both men and women providing a safe and friendly city for women and children.

Meanwhile, Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Country Representative of UN Women in Vietnam, stressed that men are the important agent for ending violence against women and girls.

She suggested communications campaigns focus on changing deep-rooted gender prejudice by encouraging men to help women with the housework and child care and to develop a respectful and non-violent relationship with women.

Similarly, Nguyen Nguyet Minh, Officer-in-Charge at UNODC, also emphasised the role of men, particularly those working in law enforcement and judicial agencies, in ensuring safety and justice for victims of violence.

She said that UNODC stands ready to support HCM City in developing solutions and initiatives to end violence against women and girls.

Engaging men as frontliners in violence against women and children prevention response amid covid 19
White Ribbon Campaign includes activities of prevention and fighting violence against women such as communications, education and programs for the youth in schools, at workplaces and in communities. Photo: UNODC/Ngoc
Engaging men as frontliners in violence against women and children prevention response amid covid 19
The White Ribbon Breakfast was held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 24 to encourage the participation of men and the community as a whole in preventing violence and sexual harassment against women and children, particularly in the context of COVID-19.Photo: UNODC/Ngoc

According to a national survey conducted by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the General Statistics Office, and the UN Population Fund, 63 percent of married Vietnamese women have experienced one or more forms of physical, sexual, emotional, or economic violence and controlling behaviour by their husbands.

UN Women said that violence against women and girls in the world has spiked by 30-300 percent since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Most victims of domestic violence do not report it to authorities, since they believe help will not be forthcoming.

White Ribbon Campaign includes activities of prevention and fighting violence against women such as communications, education and programs for the youth in schools, at workplaces and in communities. The White Ribbon campaign was globally launched first time in Canada in 1991 and has now spread to more than 60 countries and became the largest movement led by men to mobilize men to end violence against women.

The campaign starts from the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25) and finishes on Human Rights Day (December 10).

This year, the event aimed to promote the participation of men and the community in raising awareness about prevention and reduction of acts of violence, abuse and sexual harassment against women and children, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic./.

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