Beirut, 3 November 2021 – The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the Arab Institute for Women (AiW) at the Lebanese American University (LAU) launched today their annual regional youth arts competition under the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign.
This year, focus will be on raising awareness of and combatting online related and facilitated violence against women and girls, under the title “Virtual spaces, real consequences: Ending online violence against women and girls”.
In order to allow people to express themselves and to raise their voices in their own way, the contest is open to all art forms, such as painting, video, photography, poetry, music or any form of art the participants feel addresses this year’s theme. Submissions from young people under 30 from the Arab region are accepted here until 25 November.
Winners will be presented and showcased at a virtual event on Friday 10 December 2021. The event will be preceded by a panel discussion on the rise of online violence against women and girls in the Arab region.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and imposed lockdowns worldwide, violence against women and girls rose in type and severity; including online related and facilitated violence, with online harassment being the most commonly practiced.
Digital spaces proved to be a double-edged sword; while there was an over-reliance on virtual spaces for social contact and services, perpetrators took advantage of these platforms, subjecting women and girls to different forms of online violence including gender-based slurs, sexual harassment, cyber stalking, bullying, doxing, threats, blackmail and electronically enabled trafficking.
Marked annually from 25 November to 10 December, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign serves as a time to raise awareness of, and increase momentum towards, ending violence against women and girls worldwide. Its dates are significant; 25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, while 10 December is International Human Rights Days and the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
For more information and to apply: https://www.unescwa.org/events/virtual-spaces-real-consequences-ending-online-violence-against-women-and-girls
One of five United Nations regional commissions, ESCWA supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works on enhancing regional integration.
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