Buildings in many cities are lit up in orange today, 25 November, to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, particularly domestic violence has increased – the United Nations call it the “shadow pandemic”.
Many members of Eurocities are actively working to eliminate violence against women and girls. Vienna, for example, has increased its efforts to protect women in the lockdown.
“Violence against women has no place in our country,” says deputy mayor Kathrin Gaál, City Councillor for Women. “The corona crisis has shown women are particularly challenged in the lockdown. Especially now it is important that women who feel threatened or who have experienced violence know where they can get help and protection.”
Vienna has established a dense network of help and protection for women from violence, together with a number of specialised women NGOs. Four Women Shelters Houses and a 24/7 emergency helpline are at the core of this network. In addition, Vienna focuses on the prevention of violence, with programmes for gender-sensitive education at kindergartens and special counselling for men who want to change their violent behaviour.
Kathrin Gaál: “Every woman, every girl in Vienna has a right to a life free of violence.”
As in previous years, the UN is launching a campaign of 16 days activism that will conclude on 10 December, International Human Rights Day.