The joint 16 Days of Activism campaign against gender-based violence launched in Skopje focused on transitioning from silent topics to vital discussions. The Delegation of the European Union in Skopje, the OSCE Mission to Skopje, and the United Nations united to spotlight the enduring devastation caused by gender-based violence in society.

Commencing with the main event featuring the theatre play “Things That We Don’t Talk About,” numerous activities are planned across the country for the next 16 days. These include theatre performances, community dialogues, concerts, exhibitions, and panel discussions.

This year’s UNITE Campaign theme, “UNITE! Invest to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls,” underscores the significance of dedicating resources to prevent such violence. Each effort invested in preventing violence against women propels us toward a safer, fairer, and more prosperous world.

Ben Nupnau, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Skopje, emphasized supporting victims and witnesses of gender-based violence, highlighting that the law stands in their favor.

The campaign focuses on creating a unifying platform to encourage anyone who aligns with the cause to participate and advocate for ending violence against women and girls.

Selma Mehovic, Special Adviser to OSCE Head of Mission to Skopje, highlighted efforts to reinforce legislative solutions and strengthen the justice system’s various facets to better cater to victims’ needs.

The campaign aims to achieve two primary objectives: rallying a critical mass to drive the establishment of zero-tolerance policies against all forms of violence and raising awareness about the profound impact of violence against women and girls on families, society, and overall development.

Rossana Dudziak, UN Resident Coordinator in North Macedonia, acknowledged the country’s strides in establishing legal mechanisms but stressed the necessity for more action and vocalization. She highlighted the need for implementation, transforming laws into social norms, and ingraining them in behavior.

The 16 Days of Activism, starting on November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) and culminating on December 10 (Human Rights Day), exemplifies how collaboration among people and organizations addresses societal issues incompatible with the present and future.

While the UN, EU, and OSCE have traditionally partnered in this campaign, the growing interest from diverse international and domestic partners across society signifies a broadening engagement in this crucial cause.

For further details about the campaign, the dedicated Facebook page offers more information.