Eight influencers, women and men, joined an antiviolence campaign launched by UNDP on the occasion of the International Women’s Day. Through their messages, they advocate for gender equality and encourage people not to tolerate violence.

The video testimonials will be broadcasted on social networks during March 8-15, in which entrepreneurs, actors, journalists, civic activists stand for ending violence.

“A woman’s place is not only in the kitchen and not only women are responsible for educating and raising children. We live in the XXI century, and the stereotypes should remain in the past. It is important to acknowledge that men and women are equal,” mentions one of the campaign’s protagonist, the journalist Dorin Galben.

According to Valentina Casian, the mayor of Straseni town, the lesson to be learned by our society regarding gender equality is simple, but very important: “Women represent a force. The countries which realized this fact have advanced. At the same time, the society in which women’s voice is not heard is less human. On the occasion of the 8th of March, I call upon all decision makers to get involved in actions promoting women so as to eliminate the cases of discrimination and violence”.

The civic activist Alina Andronache thinks that gender-based violence may be eliminated only with the effort of each and everyone: “My message to all women is for them not to stay silent; to know that they are not alone; that we, the society, support them, but they have to speak up, for us to hear them and to stand by them. To reduce violence, the society should not be indifferent, should not tolerate anymore any violence and should be solidary with those who suffer”.

Another participant of the campaign, Vlad Șuleanschi, an entrepreneur from the capital city, thinks that people need more information to get involved in preventing violence: “The phenomenon of gender-based violence exists in Moldova. We cannot hide ourselves and say that it does not exist, and that people do not suffer. And we should not remember about this only during the holiday times, but to tackle this problem as frequently as possible. These persons live daily in terror, without us noticing”.

UNDP supports by this local campaign the global movement “Generation Equality – Realizing Women’s Rights for an Equal Future” launched by the UN Women to mark the 25th anniversary of signing the Beijing Declaration.

UNDP Moldova, in partnership with other UN Agencies in Moldova, support the Government in reviewing and strengthening the legal framework in the field of preventing and combating violence, creating services and multidisciplinary teams for providing assistance to survivors of violence, training teachers, doctors, and police officers how to recognize the signs of abuse and violence, and actions to be undertaken after detecting such cases.

UNDP has mobilized funds from the Republic of Korea and regional authorities from Gagauzia, hence a center to support gender-based violence survivors will operate in the region starting in 2020. The center will provide shelter to women to live with their children for a period up to six months and will benefit from psychological counselling, social and legal assistance. At the same time, the beneficiaries will be advised on how to get a job or launch a business of their own.

According to a study conducted by OSCE in July 2019, three out of four women (76%) consider that violence against women is a rather spread phenomenon in Moldova. According to this study, one third (33%) of women know personally somebody who was subject to domestic violence from their family or friends; and an equal share of persons stated that they know victims from their local community. Two out of five women (40%) responded that they have experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of 15 years old from a partner or unknown man.

On the 20th February 2020, the Republic of Moldova has presented the progress obtained in implementing the responsibilities implied by ratifying the UN The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). After reviewing the report presented by national authorities, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has come up with several findings and recommendations. The Committee is concerned with the high incidence of gender-based violence cases, including cases of domestic violence, as well as the extent to which the legislative framework is applied for combatting gender-based violence.

The findings of the Committee also mention that there are not enough shelters and support services for gender-based violence survivors in the Republic of Moldova, where women would benefit from psychological and social counselling, as well as rehabilitation. At the same time, the document also states that the Republic of Moldova did not yet ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). This is the most comprehensive international treaty, which recognizes the phenomenon of violence against women as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination. The Republic of Moldova signed the Convention in 2017, and the next step would be its ratification.

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