Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – Within the framework of its partnership and continues consultation and collaboration with the European Union (EU), the OIC General Secretariat along with the European External Action Service (EEAS) held on Wed 7 2022 a virtual technical workshop on “Elimination of Gender-Based Violence”. The workshop is organized in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is observed on 25th of November each year, and also the UNiTE (UNITE to End Violence Against Women 16 days Campaign).
The workshop aimed to Exchange information on legal and policy framework and human rights instruments/mechanisms for protecting women’s rights and eliminating Sexual and Gender Based Violence; exchange efforts and activities of the EU and the OIC institutions in combating GBV and formulate concrete ideas and recommendations for enhancing the future cooperation between the EU and the OIC.
From the OIC side, the workshop witnessed the participation of IPHRC, SESRIC, IsDB and the WDO who presented their respective efforts and initiatives in women empowerment in general and in combating violence against women in particular.
From the EU side, Ms. Brigit Loeser, Head of Division MENA.1 Regional European External Action Service delivered the opening remarks and highlighted the great importance of this workshop that comes within the continuous dialogue and consultation between the OIC and the EU since 2015. In her statement Ms. Brigit Loeser also emphasized on the importance to have more in depth cooperation between the OIC and the EU in multilateral fora and identify possible projects to be jointly implemented and also to exchange statistics and data and share best practices.
The OIC opening statement of the Assistant Secretary General of Humanitarian, Cultural and Social Affairs, that was delivered on his behalf by Dr. Abdul Fallilat Ajoke, the Director of Social and Family Affairs highlighted the great importance that the OIC gives to the role of women in developing societies in the Member States, especially to eliminating all type of violence they may encounter and hinder them from acquiring their rights to live safely and contribute effectively to the development of their societies.
The EU representatives also provided broad information on efforts and activities on Sexual and Gender Based Violence addressing different aspects and target groups (i.e. government to improve the legislative framework and CSOs for projects at community level especially concerning Muslim minorities and refugees women and those under occupation.
This workshop is considered the first of its kind with the EU on the topic of GBV and it should be a start for more effective collaboration between the OIC and the EU on elimination of GBV and women empowerment in general.