The Jordanian National Commission for Women launches the international advocacy campaign ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’ under the slogan “Together Against Violence”
Under the patronage of His Excellency Eng. Mousa Maaytah, Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs and Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Women’s Empowerment, the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW), in partnership with the National Team for Family Protection against Violence and its partners, launched the activities in commemoration of the international advocacy campaign ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’ during a press conference held via zoom. The theme for year’s campaign is combating domestic violence under the slogan "Together Against Violence."
During his opening remarks, the Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs and Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Women’s Empowerment, H.E. Eng. Musa Al-Maaytah emphasized the importance of joining the efforts of all national and international organizations to promote women’s right to be safe, indicating that these efforts require the participation of government systems to foster a culture of gender equality and respect for women, including by shifting behaviors through media and social media..
H.E. Al-Maaytah reiterated the importance of eliminating of all forms of violence against women and children, especially in light of the challenging circumstances faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. including its economic impact and confinement measures that led to an increase in violence. He noted that, in recent years, the Jordanian government adopted several legislative reforms aimed at eliminating discrimination and violence against women, including the establishment of shelters for women at risk, such as the Amenah Shelter. The Inter-Ministerial Committee is now working to establish shelters in the South. In 2014 the Kingdom also joined the United Nations initiative to eliminate all forms of violence against women.
H.E. Al-Maaytah added that a dedicated guide on the procedures implemented by the Ministry of Interior has been issued and several administrative rulers have been already trained using this tool. The Legislative Bureau is also working on a dedicated law to protect children and juveniles, which will be submitted to the Parliament for discussion and approval.
A key feature in this year’s campaign is the unified message promoted by the entire protection sector in Jordan, including both governmental or civil society organizations, that the system is able to protect survivors of domestic violence through the measures taken and available services. The campaign will also aim to raise awareness on available services delivered by all family protection providers, with a specific focus on legal, psychological, social, and protection aid services for women and children at risk of violence.
In a dedicated video message presented during the conference, Her Royal Highness Princess Basma bint Talal expressed her sincere appreciation to the National Team for Family Protection against Violence, as well as all partners and those working at the community level to mitigate the risks of violence and to deliver effective solutions in order to increase protection services for victims of violence. She also reassured survivors that their safety is the society’s main priority and concern under all circumstances.
The Secretary-General of JNCW, Dr. Salma Al-Nims confirmed that the topic selected for this year’s campaign responds to the sharp increase of cases of domestic violence recorded Jordan in recent months, especially during the lockdown period. Between March and May 2020, there has been a 33% increase in the number of cases reported in comparison to the same period in 2019. This trend requires a rigorous assessment of protections systems in Jordan, redefining or improving services, reviewing legislation and increase penalties that would deter perpetrators of domestic violence, especially at the household level. Ultimately, domestic violence has a negative impact not only at the family and community level, it also represents a main obstacle to achieve sustainable development as the cost borne by protection systems to respond to cases of violence could be reinvested in support of Jordan’s development plans.
Dr. Nims affirmed that ending violence against women was identified as one of the key priorities, both at the governorate and national level, during the inclusive consultation process that led to the formulation of the Women’s Strategy 2020-2025. As a result, this is one of the goals included in the strategy, paired with specific outputs to strengthen prevention, protection, and response mechanisms to gender-based violence, as well as to promote respectful relationships within the family. Under this framework, JNCW works to promote a unified action through the National Team for Family Protection against Violence, emphasizing the joint responsibility of governmental and civil protection systems to work together to end domestic violence and protect its victims.
On behalf of the National Team for Family Protection against Violence, its Head, Dr. Muhammad Miqdadi, emphasized the importance of implementing this campaign in partnership with the National Team for Family Protection against Violence, which has been working for 20 years through an holistic approach to address the multiple root causes of violence. He emphasized the importance to unify efforts among all sectors and partners to prevent and address this phenomenon in our society, and to secure the accessibility of protection services for the most vulnerable groups in light of the economic and social pressures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Director of the Family Protection Department, Colonel Firas Al-Rasheed, indicated: “The Family Protection Department has been operating for 23 years in partnership with all government and private stakeholders to ensure the implementation of the Family Protection Law and its regulations.” Colonel Al-Rasheed also added: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Family Protection Department exercised great flexibility, and the Public Security Directorate developed online tools for responding, reporting and receiving complaints that are easy for victims of violence to access”. Colonel Al Rasheed stressed that “the administration continues implementing its digitalization project, which will provide more accurate documentation mechanisms and will allow to obtain accurate data and statistics on this phenomenon, including follow up mechanisms, while improving the quality of services provided to victims of all forms of violence .”
“If we aim to be successful in building back better, stronger, resilient and equal societies, it is a time for bold prioritization and accelerate joint efforts in response to gender-based violence in the context of COVID-19,” said Anders Pedersen, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan. Based on the UN Secretary-General’s call for action for this 16 Days campaign, and by leveraging the UN Socio-Economic Impact Framework, as UN system “we are working with national partners across inter-linked priorities areas of advocacy to prioritize funding for GBV, prevention and response, in addition to collecting data for improvement of GBV services to inform national plans and programmes” Pedersen added.
The 16 Days of Activism campaign will be sustained by the dissemination of tailored awareness-raising messages in local communities, including online sessions on issues related to social, psychological and religious aspects linked to domestic violence and protection services. More information and the calendar of sessions will be made available on JNCW’s social media pages. In addition, a series of awareness videos defining the concept of domestic violence and available protection services will be broadcasted through Jordan TV, Mammlaka TV and Ro’ya TV during the period of the campaign. Complementary to the media campaign, awareness raising messages will be also disseminated on social media, advertisements and via radio spots on local radio stations. , This will include educational series and live testimonials on the various forms of domestic violence, emphasizing the importance of supporting survivors of domestic violence. The campaign will continue for a whole year with the aim to achieve short and long-term goals defined by partners.
JNCW and its partners will also engage social media users during the ‘orange hour’, that will take place on 4th December 2020 at 8:00pm, calling upon the public to join the conversation using the following hashtags: #16DaysJo #TogetherAgainstViolence and#نحن_معكم_ضد_العنف
Advocacy efforts will be also sustained by a dedicated street campaign, displaying awareness raising messages addressing all age groups and comprising of street billboards and pedestrian/street bridges placed in all Governorates. Overall, JNCW, in collaboration with the “Shamaa Network” and other partners, will implement 300 activities across all Governorates of Jordan. These will be promoted through JNCW and its partners’ media and social media channels, including radio and TV interviews.
Overview of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign which takes place each year and runs from 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to 10th December, Human Rights Day. It was originated by activists at the first Women's Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and is coordinated each year by the Center for Women's Global Leadership. In support of this civil society initiative, the UN System, under the leadership of the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, calls for global action to increase awareness on gender-based violence, galvanize advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations under this year’s global theme ‘Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!’.
Since 2007, Jordanian civil society organizations, JNCW, UN agencies and members of the international community joined efforts to support social mobilization in the Kingdom through the implementation of several events to raise awareness on gender-based violence. Everyone is invited to join the campaign on social media using the hashtag #16DaysJo #TogetherAgainstViolence and نحن_معكم_ضد_العنف#.
Overview on the “Shama’a Network”
On 10 December 2007, in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and at the end of the 16 Days campaign, the Shama’a Network was established as a national network to eliminate violence against women. In recent years, the Sham’a Network contributed to raise awareness on violence against women and its devastating consequences, which not only harm the survivor's personal life but also the safety of families and community. The Sham’a Network is a way to unite the efforts of many individuals and organizations working at the local level to combat violence against women.
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