Joint statement by UN in Mongolia on 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based ViolenceSociety
Ulaanbaatar, 25 November 2020 - On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, all 11 entities of the United Nations System in Mongolia reiterate the position that violence against women and girls and boys in private and public spaces is a grave violation of their human rights with profoundly detrimental impacts on their physical, psychological, sexual and reproductive health. In the most severe cases, such violence can even cause death. Violence against women and children must stop right now.
When Mongolia conducted its first national gender-based violence survey in 2017, the results revealed that one in every two women experiences gender-based violence at least once in their lifetime, while one in every three had suffered violence in the year prior to the survey.
Moreover, the 2017 National Human Right Commission of Mongolia study revealed that women and young people often become the victims of violence and harassment at workplaces.
In the last five years, the Government of Mongolia, local and international NGOs, and United Nations agencies have all made great strides in not only establishing the mechanisms to support survivors of violence, but also in pushing social, political and economic development that could help prevent gender-based violence from happening altogether.
However, as United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has stressed, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse decades of progress in the fight against violence and in achieving gender equality.
The proactive and decisive actions implemented by the Government of Mongolia has so far proven successful in preventing a large scale COVID-19 outbreak. However, the impacts of restrictive measures like the on-going nationwide lockdown on gender-based violence are visible and serious concerns.
Similar to many other countries, Mongolia has not been spared from escalations of gender-based violence, especially domestic violence cases which increased by 30 per cent in the first half of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019. This is why, it is now more important than ever for people of different backgrounds and stakeholders across sectors to come together and say No More to gender-based violence at home, in the workplace, and in public spaces.
This year, UN Agencies, the diplomatic community, and the local and international civil society along with private sector companies is working together to call for action against the different forms of gender-based violence happening in the country – domestic violence; workplace and street harassment; sex trafficking; and violence against children, older persons, and persons with disabilities.
The national campaign’s 2020 theme is “No More: End Gender-based Violence at Home, in the Workplace, and in Public Spaces.” This theme highlights that gender-based violence can happen anywhere and to anyone as long as these harmful mindsets and behaviors remain, and it calls upon the public, the government, and civil society to act right now to ensure that no more women, girls and boys or men will have to suffer any form of gender-based violence.
The UN agencies in Mongolia remain committed to ending gender-based violence and promoting gender equality in the country, as articulated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As we mark the 25 years of adoption of Beijing Platform for Action, we call on the Mongolian public, as well as the government authority, decision makers and the international community to work together to help create a violence-free society where the rights of every person are respected and protected by all.