Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore co-hosted a side-event ‘Children and women under attack: ending gender-based violence in emergencies’ during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on 27 September 2018, in New York. The event took place in the context of the EU leadership of the ‘Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies’, a global initiative which raises awareness and seeks to include the prevention and response to gender-based violence in humanitarian action.
Speaking ahead of the event, Commissioner Stylianides said, “Gender Based Violence is not just another form of violence. It is a threat to human life. Together we can end this hateful practice. That claims lives and devastates the future of millions of women and children. It is a top priority for the European Union's humanitarian action. It is our moral imperative. Today, the EU leads the Call to Action on Protection Against Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies. Our priorities are clear: We are bolstering our advocacy and outreach. With 13 new partners. Bringing the total number of partners 77. We have organised many outreach and advocacy events. We are also giving great importance to awareness-raising in the field. We brought the Call to Action directly to those affected by the problem. And to those who directly fight against it. Finally, we invested in knowledge tools and tracking mechanisms. The EU’s leadership of the Call to Action will be over at the end of this year. But the work continue.”
The event featured panellists from government, civil society, academia, and UN entities, in a discussion moderated by Monique Pariat, Director-General, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).
The Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies is a global initiative of 77 partners, including governments and donors, international organisations and non-governmental organisations. Its aim is to drive change and foster accountability from the humanitarian system to address gender-based violence from the earliest phases of a crisis. The Call to Action Road Map 2016-2020 is the operational framework established to ensure that pledges become concrete actions on the ground.
The EU has been an active member of the Call to Action since its creation in 2013. It has made a number of individual pledges under the Call to Action Road Map, focussing on policy dissemination and ensuring that available funding supports the implementation process. In June 2017, the EU took over the leadership of the Call to Action as the fourth lead of this initiative, following the United Kingdom, the United States and Sweden. At the end of 2018, Canada will take over the leadership of the Call to Action.
The 2013 EU gender policy outlines the European Commission's approach to gender and gender-based violence in humanitarian aid. To support policy implementation and coherence, the European Commission has also introduced a Gender-Age Marker, which applies to all projects funded since January 2014. According to the Gender-Age Marker, in 2015, 81% of all EU-funded humanitarian actions integrated gender and age considerations. In 2017, the EU allocated almost €22 million in humanitarian aid for the prevention of and response to sexual and gender-based violence.