The United States has a strong interest in preventing and responding to gender-based violence around the world. Last week, as part of its outreach activities for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) campaign that kicked off on 25 November corresponding to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the U.S. Embassy in Mali hosted a virtual program to discuss negative impacts of the COVID19 pandemic on the fight against GBV in Mali.
The program, which aimed at raising participants’ awareness on the consequences of the COVID19 pandemic on the global struggle to end GBV; and possible solutions to address it. The two Guests speakers came from the local nonprofit organization called the “Initiative for Food and Education” (IFE Mali) and 20 participants, including American Center patrons and youth from Malian public universities, joined in the program.
During the program, American Center Director, noted the United States’ interest in equality and the advancement of women and girls around the globe and the Department of State’s multi-faceted approach to addressing gender-based violence throughout the full range of diplomatic engagement with host governments, civil society, donors, the media, and the private sector. Participants asked questions about the history of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and shared techniques to get more men involved in the fight in community levels.
To fight GBV in the long term, guest speakers from IFE Mali made recommendations, such as: raising awareness about GBV in communities and available services for victims; the redirection of resources by financial partners to include the fight against GBV in all programs; the reporting of GBV cases; the identification of domestic violence and GBV among essential services by governments.