On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Italian Foreign Ministry staunchly confirms Italy’s commitment to promote gender equality and to fight all forms of discrimination and violence against women.
Thanks to Italy’s contribution to negotiating the texts, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (competent for human rights and social and humanitarian affairs) recently adopted by consensus and with the support of a large number of Countries two new resolutions on the eradication of female genital mutilation and early and forced marriage. The final texts of the resolutions will be adopted by the General Assembly in mid-December.
Over the past few years, significant progress has been made in the attempt to put an end to these traditional practices that are harmful to women’s health and human rights. Despite this progress, every year nearly 4 million girls risk being submitted to female genital mutilation and approximately 15 million girls marry before turning 18. The two UN resolutions underscore the commitment of the international community (Governments and civil society organisations, international and regional organisations, local communities and single individuals) to work together to eradicate these practices, by adopting political and legislative measures to be enforced at international level and promoting awareness raising and educational activities on their harmful consequences, also involving men and children.
In relation to development cooperation, in the last year Italy’s International Cooperation has allocated almost 23 million euros to gender equality and women empowerment projects, practically 50% of the 50 million euros pledged over a two-year period by Prime Minister Renzi in September 2015 in New York. The complete report on the fulfilment of Italy’s commitments in favour of women’s rights in the English version can be accessed at the following link: http://www.unwomen.org/en/get-involved/step-it-up/commitments/italy. Italy is also strongly committed to alleviating the suffering of the women, often young, who are abused and humiliated and sometimes kicked out of their families in areas of conflict or crisis.
Protecting women and young girls during conflicts and involving women as agents of peace in preventing conflicts and in peace-building operations are among the priorities of Italy’s mandate as member of the United Nations Security Council in 2017.
In addition, the 2016 -2019 National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security, now at its third edition, is now being finalised.
Today, as part of the Foreign Ministry’s personnel training and professional development activities, the Casale di Villa Madama is hosting an event on gender-related policies in Italy’s foreign policy.
This year too the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has participated in the awareness raising campaign “Orange the world – 16 days of activism against gender-based violence”. From today to the 10th of December – international Human Rights Day – the Foreign Ministry’s official websites and social media accounts will post additional information on Italy’s initiatives to end violence against women.