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Discorso pronunciato dal Sottosegretario di Stato, Sen. Benedetto Della Vedova, all’Evento Ministeriale CSW60 sulle “Lessons Learnt e Buone Pratiche nella Prevenzione della Violenza di Genere”

Italy is strongly committed to preventing and eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

Italy has become a leading donor in various partner countries – among others, Senegal and Palestine – and intends to build upon these experiences in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We are also working with UNWOMEN, UNFPA and UNICEF supporting key programs to eradicate violence against women, forced and child marriages. Programs with our partners in Gibuti, Sudan and Etiopia (currently in the pipeline) are focused at ending harmful practices, beginning with Female Genital Mutilations.

Allow me to recall that the Italian engagement to end the practice of Female Genital Mutilations dates back to mid-eighties. Ever since then, several initiative has been funded by the Italian Development Cooperation with this aim. At the same time, we have actively contributed to the negotiations on the UNGA Resolutions on intensifying efforts for the eradication of FGM adopted in 2012 and 2014.

Italy is focusing on promoting the full implementation of the General Assembly Resolutions in view of accelerating the abandonment of this practice by funding both multilateral and bilateral targeted initiatives. In this regard, in addition to the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme to eliminate the FGM, which includes the collaboration of the Italian NGO Aidos, it is worth to mention the work undertaken by another Italian NGO, No Peace Without Justice, which has been implementing a specific initiative BanFGM both in Eastern and Western African countries.

Another example of national best practice is the decision of the Italian Government to launch a new and innovative awareness-raising campaign addressing not women victims of male violence against them, but all men and boys.

The campaign, which is part of the European Project “FIVE MEN – FIght Violence against woMEN”, financed by the European Commission, consists of a web series entitled “#thingsmendo”.

The web series identifies and detects the main stereotypes on the relationships between women and men which are at the core of the dynamics generating violence and proposes alternative male behavioural patterns which not only are fairer towards women, but are also more rewarding for men and boys themselves.

The campaign has been disseminated in 20 pilot Italian schools, together with a specific toolkit for schools, based on the conviction that the involvement of men and boys and the prevention of violence against women need to start from education.

In addition, the Italian Government established in 2006 a toll-free emergency telephone number, to detect and combat violence against women perpetrated both inside and outside the family. It is active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be contacted from both fixed and mobile phones with reception available in many languages (Italian, English, French, Russian, Arabic).

Since 2009, the toll-free emergency number has been supporting also victims of stalking.

The toll-free emergency number has provided assistance and guidance for more than 80,000 women victims of violence, 10% of whom coming from a foreign country.

Furthermore, the new Italian National Extraordinary Plan against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, adopted in July 2015, addresses all forms of violence against women through a holistic and multilevel approach which includes coordinated action by national and regional institutions as well as civil society organisations, in order to prevent incidents of violence against women, protect victims and punish offenders with a view to promoting their social rehabilitation and reducing the risk of recurrence.

As a follw up to the adoption of the Italian National Extraordinary Plan against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, the Italian Government has recently launched a call for applications for projects aimed at strengthening local services provided to women victims of gender-based violence and their children. Projects implemented by local Governments and civil society organisations should strengthen the network of anti-violence centers, shelter homes and services for assistance, prevention and contrast of gender-based violence. This project puts together best pratices related to programmes for preventing and fighting gender based violence promoted in recent years by our central and local authorities with the private sector and civil society organisations.