National advocacy campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence”

Joint news release, UNIFEM/UNFPA/UNAIDS/WHO

18 November 2009

“We must unite. Violence against women cannot be tolerated, in any form, in any context, in any circumstance, by any political leader or by any government. The time to change is now. Only by standing together and speaking out can we make a difference”.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe call for better protection of women from violence and empowerment of women to have a leading role in society.

A WHO report (2000) states that 50% of women in Tajikistan have reported experiencing some form of violence by a family member, with 47% reporting sexual violence by their husbands.

According to Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) 2005, about 75% of married/in-union women (aged 15–49) believe that their partners have the right to beat or hit them. Acceptance is highest among young married women (85% of women aged 15–29 compared to 69% among women aged 45–49).

It is planned to organize joint advocacy events in the framework of the International Campaign “16 Days Against Violence”, along with national events on women’s human rights, promotion of gender equality and combating gender-based violence and discrimination.

The joint campaign’s objectives are:

  • to improve public understanding and awareness on women’s human rights and needs for comprehensive response to gender-based violence;
  • to bring new partners (men and boys) to advocate nondiscrimination and nonviolence as human rights’ standards and norms;
  • to contribute to the national dialogue on women’s human rights;
  • to advocate the state’s commitments on prevention of violence against women (VAW) (awareness of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) recommendations for Tajikistan);
  • to agree on next steps for lobbying for adoption of domestic violence law and Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

When, what, where

24–29 November: Week of Campaign on National Violence Against Women will take place in Dushanbe

November 24: Round-table “Strengthening National response to end VAW” will take place in Kohi Vahdat and discuss the report by United Nations Special Rappourteur on VAW in the country visit.

25 November: Launch of the handbook Breaking the silence funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and UNIFEM, United Nations Conference Hall (39, Aini street), Special issue of “Nasli Solim” radio programme on “Asia Plus” radio devoted to the campaign, Theatre performance by UNFPA national network on VAW and gender issues, Mayakovskiy theater, Dushanbe

27 November: Special issue of “Chi boyad kard?” TV programme on Safina TV Channel devoted to the campaign 

28–29 November: Joint action by Tahmina Niyazova, Goodwill Ambassador of the network of people living with HIV in Tajikistan and the National Federation of Taekwondo during the national tournament

First week of December – visit by Tahmina Niyazova, Goodwill Ambassador, and Shahlo Mukhammedrahimova, 2007 taekwondo world champion, to centre for girls from orphanages and poor families (established by the committee for women and family affairs).

Further information

Further information on these events is available on the web sites of the UN Tajikistan Information Platform, UNFPA, UNAIDS and the WHO Regional Office for Europe web sites. Photos of the events also will be available on the following web sites.

Ms Nargis Azizova
Gender and Governance Advisor
(+992 48) 4410641 or at:

Ms Salima Kasymova
National Professional Officer, Country Policies and Systems
(+992 48) 7011479/75/76/72/73/83 or at:

Mr Parviz Boboev
Project Associate on Communications/ Advocacy/ Youth
(+ 992 44) 600 5837
(+992 44) 600 5839 or at:

Mr Nasrullo Ramazonov
Advocacy and Communications Officer
(+ 992 47) 4410641 (Ext: 533) or at: