Media Advisory: UNFPA to Promote Answers to Violence Against Women at Next Week's United Nations Meeting

22 February 2007

UNITED NATIONS, New York — World leaders and representatives of non-governmental organizations from around the world will gather here next week to evaluate progress in gender equality and to identify challenges and formulate concrete policies to promote the rights of women worldwide. The gathering, during the Commission on the Status of Women from 26 February to 9 March, will focus on the “Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination and Violence Against the Girl Child".

As part of the global meeting, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and its partners will organize a number of events to underline their efforts to end all forms of violence against women and protect the girl child. These events include:

Monday, 26 February 

Release of Programming to Address Violence Against Women . This detailed publication presents UNFPA’s experience in addressing various forms of abuses against women in 10 countries, and provides concrete lessons that can be applied on a wider scale. Moderated by UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the event is scheduled to feature Agnes Pareyio , Activist Against FGM, Kenya; Naima Ben Yahia, Director, Ministry of Social Development, Family and Child, Morocco; Father Libardo Valderrama, Director of Development and Peace Programme, Colombia; and Traian Buta, a police officer from Romania.

Where: United Nations, Conference Room 6

When: 1:15 - 2:45 p.m.

Tuesday, 27 February 

Panel on “Ending Discrimination and Violence Against the Girl Child”. Sponsored by Egypt, Germany, Italy and Mali, and co-moderated by UNFPA, the high-level panel will seek new ways to protect girls from female genital mutilation/cutting. Speakers due to include delegates from the four countries and the President of the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children.

Where: United Nations, Conference Room 3

When: 1:00 -2:45 p.m.

Thursday, 1 March 

Panel on “The Role of Religious Leaders and Communities in Ending Violence Against Girls and Women”. This interactive panel will shed light on factors that lead to the inaction and silence surrounding violence against women. The panel will affirm that addressing gender-based violence is a faith priority, and highlight the need for religious leaders to stand up against violence.

Participants are scheduled to include Deepali Bhanot, Coordinator, Religions for Peace International Women's Coordinating Committee, India; Fatumatta Mamba Sharif, National Women Coordinator of the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia; Monica Santamarina Noriega de Robles, Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations; and M. Hamden Ould Tah, Secretary-General of Mauritanian Ulemas and former Minister of Culture in Mauritania.

Where: United Nations, Conference Room 6

When: 1:15 - 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday, 6 March 

Panel on “How to Reach the Most Marginalized and Invisible Girls”. Young people from marginalized groups from Latin America, Africa, South Asia and the Middle East will tell leaders how to reach the most marginalized and invisible adolescent girls.

Where: United Nations Secretariat, Conference Room 2

When: 1:15 –2:45 p.m.

UNFPA Booth 

UNFPA will also have a booth containing relevant publications and material, in addition to showing short videos on the Fund’s work to counter gender violence.

Media Interviews 

Journalists interested in interviewing UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the young participants or the religious leaders, please refer to the contact information below.

Conact Information:

Abubakar Dungus
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5031

Omar Gharzeddine
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5028

Patricia Leidl
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5031

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