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On the occasion of the “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence”, the Delegation of the European Union organised Saturday 3 December a public event on Beirut's Corniche under the slogan: 'Stop Violence against Women'.
The objective of the event was to raise awareness about the topic and to engage in an open dialogue with a Lebanese public from all walks of life. The day-long event gathered civil society representatives, UN agencies and other organisations which all presented their activities in support of the elimination of violence against women. The event, which also featured artistic, entertaining and interactive elements such artistic performances, exhibitions, and the screening of short films, provided in-depth information about projects funded by the European Union and by EU Member States that are dedicated to the elimination of violence against women here in Lebanon.
Speaking during the event, Ambassador Christina Lassen, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, said: "All over the world, millions of women and girls are suffering from violence on a daily basis. However, stopping violence against women and girls is not only about stopping the perpetrators. It is just as serious not to react, about looking the other way when we witness violence. She added: "Today and every day of year, we say: enough is enough, Stop violence against women. This is why we are joining forces together with our EU Member States, with UN agencies, and with civil society organisations to stop this clear violation of women's rights. "
Equality between men and women is at the core of values of the EU and enshrined in its legal and political framework. The EU is at the forefront of the protection and fulfilment of girls’ and women’s rights and vigorously promotes them in its external relations. The EU aims at a world where the rights of girls and women are claimed, valued and respected by all, and where everyone is able to fulfil their potential and contribute to a more fair and just society for all.
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, pointed out that the EU has put forward targeted projects all around the world, including through the new EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020, and within its borders. "For instance, we are supporting young women who say "no" to forced marriage, and we are working with families and local leaders who renounce female genital mutilation. We are helping to spread the message that violence against women is a sign of weakness for men, not of strength," she said.
On the same occasion, the European Commission launched a series of actions for 2017 to combat violence against women and girls in all its forms. It allocated €10 million to support grassroots efforts to prevent gender-based violence and support its victims in the EU. The aim is to provide information and raise awareness about violence against women, targeting the general public as well as professionals who can help change this situation.