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  International Day 2010 for the
  Elimination of Violence against Women


Information on any event parliaments around the world held to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women are listed in this section if the IPU is so informed. Below is a list of parliamentary events that IPU is aware of.

Click on the country name to see information about the corresponding parliament as stored in PARLINE database. To add information about an event to the list, please contact the IPU Secretariat.

Last updated on 25 November 2011   
CountryDescription of event

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the members of the Albanian Parliament adopted a resolution on the elimination of violence against women and enhancement of the parliamentary dimension of the fight against domestic violence. The resolution reiterated the commitment and determination of the Albanian Parliament to improve legislation on the prevention and punishment of violence against women, including domestic violence, and to monitor its enforcement. The Parliament also undertook to heighten awareness of the fact that domestic violence is a human rights violation. In particular, the resolution underscores the need for parliament to monitor and evaluate implementation of legislation, including by ensuring adequate financial resources; supporting the establishment and proper functioning of support services for the victims of domestic violence, such as shelters; enhancing the national commitment to the education of young boys and girls for a society without violence; and promoting better coordination between the stakeholders involved in the prevention and elimination of violence against women.

Austria On 25 November 2010, Austrian MPs from all parliamentary factions belonging to the Austrian Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA) Section renewed their call for support for UNFPA's and UNICEF's worldwide campaign to end female genital mutilation within one generation. In a collective statement entitled "All-party initiative against violence - Stop violence against women and FGM", the MPs called for comprehensive measures and actions to end violence against women and girls worldwide, in particular female genital mutilation.

The statement underscored the need to:

  • Enhance information and awareness-building efforts concerning the negative effects of violence against women and female genital mutilation, particularly within parliaments and among the public;
  • Support initiatives and prevention strategies at the local level in cooperation with women, civil society, traditional leaders, health experts, teachers and local government representatives;
  • Reform strategies to end violence against women, promote equal participation of women in society (e.g. by increasing women's representation in national parliaments, public forums, civil society and local communities); and
  • Provide information, education and training on gender-related violence to all public agents, in particular members of the police service and the judiciary, in the prevention of violence against women and girls and in the provision of health care and support services for victims.
Canada Canadian parliamentarians made statements in the Senate and the House of Commons to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25th and Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women on December 6th. These statements occurred during the sixteen-day international campaign of activism targeting the issue of violence against women. The National Day was created by the Canadian Parliament in 1991 in order to mark the massacre of fourteen women at the École Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989. On December 6th 2010, flags on Parliament Hill were flown at half mast to mark the National Day of Remembrance and the House of Commons observed a moment of silence.
Chile The Chamber of Deputies carried out various activities on 25 November to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. A special banner was displayed on the Chamber website containing relevant IPU documents and posters for 2010, posters of the National Women's Service (SERNAM) and other documents on the theme produced by a team of researchers at the National Congress Library. The banner also contained notes from the Chamber's electronic agenda and radio, listing all the activities carried out to give visibility to the international campaign, and relevant links. On 30 November, each member of parliament was handed a set of posters from the IPU, SERNAM and on the Femicidio Act (on gender-based female deaths), along with a white ribbon, the international symbol of the campaign to stop violence against women. During that morning, members of parliament, ambassadors, government advisers, journalists, representatives of the public service association (ANEF) and parliamentary staff at the Chamber of Deputies answered the call to wear their white ribbon to mark the Day. In parallel, persons who visited the Congress that day were given the same material by their guides with a view to enhancing awareness among the wider public about this social ill.
Croatia On 25 November 2010, the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, Mr. Luka Bebić, made a statement in plenary to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. He said that Croatia had adopted a set of laws and strategies aimed at eliminating violence against women and domestic violence. Following his statement, Mr. Bebić invited members of the Croatian Parliament to join him in the Parliament Hall to participate in a special event organized by the Gender Equality Committee.

As part of the national campaign “Stop Violence against Women and Domestic Violence”, MPs participated in a symbolic painting intended to send a powerful message to the nation. The event enjoyed wide media coverage as MPs smeared blue and yellow paint on the palm of their hands and made imprints on a white canvas. The palm prints represent their resolve to stop the violence. The MPs signed their names under their respective palm print and spoke to the media in a bid to raise awareness. The painting, which bears the message “Stop Violence”, will have a permanent place on the walls of the Croatian Parliament building.

CyprusMr. Mario Garoyian, Speaker of the House of Representatives, delivered a statement in plenary to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. He said that “the elimination of violence against women should become the objective of a comprehensive and integrated approach that should include the dimensions of prevention, protection of victims and repression of the persons perpetrating these abusive crimes, while close collaboration with all competent authorities is also of crucial importance”.

He expressed the House’s satisfaction with the work conducted by the National Mechanism for Women’s Rights and, in particular, the Subcommittee on Domestic Violence. He recalled House of Representatives Resolution of 5 March 2009 on International Women’s Day, in which the House reaffirmed its commitment to realizing the national action plan for gender equality. The plan aims inter alia to secure a comprehensive and coordinated effort to combat violence against women.

Dominican RepublicThe Standing Committee on Gender Equity of the Chamber of Deputies organized a series of activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the Mirabal Sisters murder and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. The programme includes: training seminars on the gender perspective in legislative work; the launch of the White Ribbon Campaign and a poster exhibition; and round-tables focusing on young men committed to eradicating violence against women, which will take place at the University of Santo Domingo and at the Chamber of Deputies, in collaboration with the Standing Committee on Youth.
From 25 November to 10 December, all MPs, Senators, members of the Armed Forces, staff at the Attorney General’s Office and the Supreme Court of Justice, Judges on the Central Electoral Board (JCE), and officials at the Ministry of Public Health will wear a white ribbon to commemorate the event.
Georgia The national programme of activities for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence will be launched by the Vice-Speaker of Parliament and Chairperson of the Gender Equality Council, Ms. Rusudan Kervalishvili, on 25 November at the Sheraton Metekhi Palace. The 16 Days of Activism (25 November-10 December) will be held in coordination with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) project “Combating Gender-Based Violence in the South Caucasus”, supported by the Gender Equality Council of the Parliament of Georgia and in close collaboration with government agencies and international and non-governmental organizations in the field.

The programme includes: street activities in the city centres and dissemination of pamphlets; information meetings for target groups (teachers, doctors, housewives, engineers, public servants, etc.) to raise awareness of national laws on gender equality, domestic violence and trafficking in human beings; radio and TV shows, movie screenings and exhibitions on gender-based violence; training sessions for men on gender issues; launch of the nationwide domestic violence hotline; and consultations with a lawyer and a psychologist, etc.

HondurasThe Congress adopted a motion so that those who have killed or abused women do not go unpunished. Groups of women were mobilized to march to the Congress and speak on promoting women and against violence and abuse of women in Honduras. Pamphlets were distributed in cooperation with the Women’s Institute.
IndonesiaOn 22 November, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia will express parliament’s commitment to building partnerships for combating violence against women during his speech at the plenary session. To mark the Day, members of parliament will sign the banner commemorating the occasion. Subsequently, on 22 December, which is Women's Day in Indonesia, a seminar will be organized on the issue.

The Knesset marked the International Day through a number of events held from 23 to 30 November 2010.

In the Knesset plenum, a debate was held on 23 November on a motion to mark the International Day, presented by the Chairperson of the Committee on the Status of Women, Tzipi Hotevely, and on a Bill on the Criminal Law Code prohibiting advertisements for prostitution services, presented by Orit Zuaretz, Chairperson of the Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women.

On 23 November, the Committee on the Status of Women organized a special meeting attended by the Minister of Education, Gideon Sa’ar, and the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office for the Advancement of Young People, Students and Women, Gila Gamliel. On 29 November, a joint meeting of the Committee on the Status of Women and the Immigration and Absorption Committee focused on violence against women in the Ethiopian community, sexual harassment of Ethiopian women migrants and language difficulties encountered during legal procedures for issuing protection orders by the courts. On 30 November, a joint meeting of three committees (Status of Women, Labour, Welfare and Health, and Rights of the Child) was organized following the publication of the annual report of the Association of Rape Crisis Centres in Israel on the issue of sexual abuse of girls within the family.
LithuaniaWith a view to contributing to the IPU campaign to end violence against women, the members of the Seimas Committee on Human Rights, together with women's associations, organized a press conference on 25 November. The aim was to make the problem of violence against women more visible nationally and to present to the media and the public the main provisions of a new bill on protection from domestic violence. Lithuania does not yet have a law against gender-based violence or domestic violence and recently, the Committee on Human Rights set up a working group to draft a relevant law.
MaliOn 26 November 2010, the National Assembly set up the Network of Malian MPs to combat violence against women and children. Following up the recommendations of the national seminar organized by the Malian Parliament and the IPU on 3 and 4 June 2010 on the role of parliamentarians in addressing violence against women and girls, the purpose of this Network is to encourage MPs to play a part in informing and sensitizing citizens and the media to the issue. Parliamentary field visits will be organized to various regions throughout the country to sensitize the population. The first was scheduled for Bamako on 11 and 12 December, followed by another in Kita (Kayes region) on 27 and 28 December 2010.

These visits will enable Malian MPs to inform and consult with civil society and the wider public with a view to grasping all aspects of the problem of gender-based violence, sensitizing men and women and bringing about behavioural change. They also aim to shape public opinion in view of reviewing legislation or passing a law against gender-based violence, in particular on female genital mutilation.

NicaraguaOn 30 November, the Gender Unit of the National Assembly of Nicaragua organized, with the support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a National Forum on Proposals for addressing gender-based violence in Nicaragua.
The aim of the Forum was to bring together key political and social stakeholders with a view to identifying proposals to curb gender-based violence in a coordinated manner and building partnerships to combat this scourge.
NorwayMany Norwegian parliamentarians are engaged in work to eliminate violence against women and on 25 November, special attention will be given to the White Ribbon Campaign, which is a global initiative to ensure that men take more responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women. All 269 parliamentarians will receive a white ribbon and a member of parliament will make a statement during a White Ribbon seminar in Oslo the same day. In addition, there will be a parliament-sponsored round-table conference on 6 December, which aims to establish dialogue and partnership between parliamentarians and civil society organizations that are active in the fight against violence against women.
PortugalThe Subcommittee on Equality commemorated the International Day on 25 November 2010 by organizing an artistic event during which parliamentarians made impressions of their hands on a large canvas. The painting was placed in one of the halls leading to the chamber. On 26 November, the Assembly adopted a Resolution proposed by the Subcommittee on Equality condemning all forms of violence against women.
Republic of KoreaThe Speaker of the National Assembly made an official statement to commemorate the Day. The statement was posted on the official website of the National Assembly and distributed to all major media outlets and journalists in order to raise awareness of the Day. In his statement, the Speaker remarked that “it is the time to build a close partnership between civil society and related governmental organs for a safe society free from violence against women”. He also observed that the UN Secretary-General’s Report, which underscored the issue of violence against women, was pushed back on the list of priorities in many countries although it should be a top priority. He expressed the hope that the National Assembly would take the lead in this area.
Romania On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which will be celebrated on 25 November, the Romanian Chamber of Deputies will organize a series of activities to be conducted by the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men. To mark this Day, Mrs. Maria Stavrositu, MP, Secretary of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men of the Chamber of Deputies, will organize a series of activities under the theme chosen for this year by IPU, Building partnerships to combat violence against women:
  • Mrs. Maria Stavrositu will make a political statement in the plenary sitting of the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday, 23 November;
  • Members of the Chamber of Deputies will wear a white ribbon, the symbol marking the Day;
  • A press conference under the theme Stop violence against the women will be organized on Wednesday, 24 November, at the Parliament Building; members of the Committee on Equal Opportunities and NGO representatives will be invited to the press conference; 
  • A small photo exhibition will also be organized to mark the Day.
Rwanda To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, on 24 November 2010, the Chamber of Deputies adopted in plenary session a declaration in which it undertakes to: “strengthen relations between citizens and the security agencies in order to eliminate violence against women and all other forms of violence”.
The declaration calls in particular for combating poverty and empowering women in economic terms. It encourages victims of violence “to report such violence to the relevant police or judicial authorities so that justice can be served in accordance with the law” and calls on all concerned parties to join forces “to prevent and crack down on violence against women and girls, be it domestic violence or violence within the community, the workplace or the school”. It goes on to encourage Rwandans - men and women - to learn about the law on the prevention and repression of all forms of gender-based violence, passed by parliament in 2009, and “calls on all bodies, in particular grass-roots organizations, to explain this law to citizens so they can refer to it if they fall victim to violence”.
SloveniaThe National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia commemorated 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, with an exhibition on the premises of the National Assembly, which was organized by the Committee on Petitions, Human Rights and Equal Opportunities of the National Assembly and in cooperation with four organizations of the Association for Non-Violence. At the opening of the exhibition, participants heard addresses by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Pavel Gantar; the Chairperson of the Committee on Petitions, Human Rights and Equal Opportunities, Ms. Eva Irgl; and the representative of the Association against Violent Communication, Ms. Katja Zabukovec Kerin.
TajikistanThe Parliament of Tajikistan is currently drafting legislation on the prevention of domestic violence. A working group, composed of members of parliament, representatives of State agencies and civil society associations, has been established to elaborate a comprehensive bill covering all aspects of this problem. On 25 November, members of parliament participated in a meeting together with representatives of the Committee on Women and Family Affairs, government and non-governmental organizations to heighten public awareness about the urgent need to eliminate violence against women.
ThailandThe National Assembly organized two activities to promote the International Day.

On 27 September 2010, the Standing Committee on Social Development and Children's, Youth, Women's, the Elderly, the Disabled and the Underprivileged Affairs of the Senate organized a seminar on the occasion of the 3rd Anniversary of the adoption of the Domestic-Violence Victim Protection Act (2007). The seminar was chaired by Tassana Boontong, Second Vice-President of the Senate. Briefings and discussions took place during two sessions. The morning session was led by Mr. Watcharin Patjekwinyasakul, Chief Judge of the Thonburi Court. The afternoon session featured a panel discussion among the representatives of the Office of the Attorney General, the Royal Thai Police, the Supreme Court, the Women Lawyers' Association of Thailand under the Royal Patronage of Her Majesty the Queen and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

On 25 November 2010, there was a campaign to mark the International Day in which parliamentarians wore pins to promote the elimination of violence against women.

TogoTo mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), the National Assembly and the IPU organized a parliamentary retreat on gender equality in Togo in Notsé from 25 to 27 November. The participants examined the causes and consequences of gender-based violence and underscored the need to crack down on violence against women, protect and support victims and punish the perpetrators of such acts. They expressed concern in particular over the rise in incest-related offences. Incentives have been taken by civil society organizations but Togo still has no law against gender-based violence.
Trinidad and TobagoThe Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has developed a programme of activities to mark 25 November. They include: One minute of silence to be observed in both Houses during the week beginning 22 November for victims of violence against women,
  • One minute of silence to be observed in both Houses during the week beginning 22 November for victims of violence against women,
  • The signing by members of parliament of a Declaration opposing violence against women,
  • A television production promoting non-violence against women, involving interviews with parliamentarians, representatives from NGOs and youth parliamentarians,
  • A collage to be mounted at the front of the Parliament Building promoting a strong stance of opposing all forms of violence against women, which will be signed by members of parliament and the public.

The Gender in Development Division (GIDD), which spearheads gender activities in Zambia, has been holding meetings in 2010 with all stakeholders, including representatives of government and non-governmental organizations, to plan for the commemoration of this important day. At the parliamentary level, the National Assembly of Zambia has been attending national meetings where institutions have been urged to come up with activities to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence under the theme “Defining Gender Based Violence: the Voice of the Civic, Traditional and Church Leaders”.

The National Assembly has interpreted the national theme to specifically look at “Structures of Violence: Defining the Intersections of Culture and Violence against Women”. The Parliament will hold a Sensitization Day for all Members of Parliament and staff of the National Assembly on Thursday 25 November 2010 to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The sensitization session will involve presentations from GIDD, the Victim Support Unit of the Zambia Police and the Young Women’s Christians Association (YWCA). There will also be sketches by the African Factory Dance Group based on the theme as redefined for the event. It is hoped that sensitization of Members of Parliament will help eliminate violence against women in their respective constituencies. Apart from the sensitization session, the Parliament has also raised funds to enable MPs to visit the YWCA, which has a shelter for battered women, and make a donation of assorted items to victims of gender violence on Monday 29 November 2010.

For information about parliamentary events organized in connection with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in previous years, use the links below: