In commemoration of “International Day to End Violence Against Women
”, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) has partnered with CARE International in Egypt
and United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) to launch a five day art exhibition to feature paintings and photos entitled “Women of Egypt”.
Twenty enthusiastic young Egyptian artists have produced artworks aiming at raising awareness and triggering action on the pervasive human rights violation of violence against women. All the artists and photographers, participating in the event, were selected through a competitive application process and received a workshop on gender and art as well as being familiar with the development work in Egypt about women.
The art exhibition is launched on November 26 with an opening event at Mesaha Art and Cultural Center. The event includes opening remarks from the partners, awarding ceremony of the artists and photographers for their valuable contribution at the exhibition and a tour through the various artistic sections of the exhibition.
Today, a staggering one in three women around the world will experience some form of gender-based violence in her lifetime. According to the 2005 Egypt Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS), 47 percent of ever-married women in Egypt reported ever having experienced physical violence since the age of 15. UN Women, CARE Egypt and UNIC intend to raise awareness and highlight the striking issue.
“This exhibition highlights the beginning of the global “16 days of activism” and a way to engage the public – as well as motivate young artists- to advocate for eliminating violence against women. Although some might view this as an unconventional way to show the real strength of Egyptian women through art, yet we view it as a way to symbolically demonstrate our solidarity with them and that violence against women is a violation of human rights,” said Dr. Maya Morsy, UN Women Egypt Country Coordinator and Head of Office in the opening ceremony.
Dr. Hazem Fahmy, Assistant Country Director of CARE International in Egypt, remarked, “Gender-based violence is a global pandemic that cuts across all borders and impacts all peoples and societies, and unfortunately Egypt is of no exclusion. Since CARE Egypt believes that empowering women and girls is a main drive towards a nation’s development, we were pleased to partner with UN Women and UNIC today in this unique event and pledge to recommit ourselves to changing attitudes and ending all forms of violence against women and girls. We view this as an opportunity to get more people involved in advocating to eliminate violence against women and use art to communicate this message.”
During the event, UN Information Centre Director Khawla Mattar gave a statement quoting the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for the International Day to End Violence against Women. She said, “Millions of women and girls around the world are assaulted, beaten, raped, mutilated or even murdered in what constitutes appalling violations of their human rights. From battlefield to home, on the streets, at school, in the workplace or in their community, up to 70 per cent of women experience physical or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. As many as a quarter of all pregnant women are affected. All too often, perpetrators go unpunished”. She added, “Women and girls are afraid to speak out because of a culture of impunity. We must fight the sense of fear and shame that punishes victims who have already endured crime and now face stigma. It is the perpetrators who should feel disgraced, not their victims. In his message, UN Secretary-General called on all governments to make good on their pledges to end all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world, and I urge all people to support this important goal.”
The art exhibition is open for public from 27 November to 30 November 2012 at the Mesaha Art and Cultural Center, shedding lights on “Women of Egypt”.
For more information; please contact Fatma Elzahraa Yassin; Communications Associate, UN Women at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dalia Farghal; Information Assistant; UNIC at email@example.com
or Dina Heikal; Communications Coordinator, Care International in Egypt; DHeikal@egypt.care.org