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A High Level event was organized by UNFPA on December 5 in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs in commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.  The event held under the theme Prevention and Managements of Gender-based Violence in Ethiopia served as an occasion to disclose the major findings of the UNFPA commissioned End-line Evaluation and Good Practices and Lessons Learnt on the Prevention and Management of Gender-based Violence in Ethiopia programme which was funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands over a period of four years.

Making remarks at the event, H.E. Demitu Hambissa, Minister of Women and Children Affairs, noted that the fight against poverty and injustice would only bear fruit if the root causes of gender inequalities and gender-based violence are addressed. She indicated that Ethiopia was pursuing a strategic plan for an integrated and multi-sectoral response to gender-based violence focusing on prevention, protection and response mechanisms. “The challenges of addressing gender-based violence remain formidable calling for a redoubling of our efforts,” the Minister underlined calling on all stakeholders to rally behind the effort.

Mr. Marco Gerritsen, Development Expert First Secretary with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, said that tackling gender-based violence was a process relying strongly on creating awareness and grassroots activism. “Such processes need to be action driven as they are here in Ethiopia,” Mr. Gerritsen noted lauding the results achieved and the good practices observed in the implementation of the Prevention and Management of Gender-based Violence Programme in Ethiopia. He reiterated his government’s commitment to continue supporting programmes on addressing gender-based violence calling on other development partners to channel their support in a harmonized manner.

On his part, Mr. Rakoto Victor, UNFPA Deputy Representative, said at the event that one of the three transformative results stipulated in its new Strategic Plan which UNFPA pursues to realize the goals of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is ending gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls. He reaffirmed UNFPA’s commitment to strengthen partnership with stakeholders in the fight against gender-based violence using culturally sensitive and human rights based approaches and thanked partners who contribute to the success of the programme.

The event served as a platform to call on all stakeholders to revitalize their commitment in the fight against Gender-based Violence in Ethiopia. Two survivors of gender-based violence who were rehabilitated by the Association for Women Sanctuary and Development through the support of the programme shared their testimonies on the occasion. A story was also read from the book published by UNFPA featuring the true stories of survivors of gender-based violence.

Parliamentarians, senior government officials, representatives of development partners, UN Agencies, civil society organizations, faith-based organizations and other stakeholders attended the high level event.