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Each year between 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) and 10 December (Human Rights Day), the world comes together to demand a safer world for women and girls by marking 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. In Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where UNFPA is responding to the protracted Rohingya refugee crisis for the fifth year, a series of events and trainings took place this year to advocate for the safety and dignity of women and girls in the refugee camps and surrounding host communities. Below, you may learn about the highlights of our 16-day journey!

Humanitarian workers commit to #EndGBVTogether on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

The 16 Days of Activism celebrations in Cox’s Bazar were kicked off on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, with an event hosted by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, the UNFPA-led GBV Sub-sector and the Gender in Humanitarian Action Working Group. The event brought together representatives of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, ISCG, UN Agencies and various NGOs to discuss collective actions to end gender-based violence in the refugee camps. In addition, a viral video with gender workers and advocates in Cox’s Bazar stating their personal commitments to end gender-based violence was shown at the event for the first time. Please watch the video here!  

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The head of UNFPA Sub-Office in Cox’s Bazar, Roselidah Raphael, participated in the opening ceremony on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. ©UNFPA Bangladesh


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On December 1, UNFPA marked World AIDS Day alongside World Health Organization by hosting an awareness-raising session for Rohingya women, where they learned about the medical services available to survivors of gender-based violence in the camps. The participants received information on ways to access health facilities in the camps as well as timelines and procedures that should be followed to receive treatment in cases of sexual violence.  

UNFPA and WHO work in close collaboration with their partners in the refugee camps to ensure that unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections do not spread in the Rohingya community as a result of sexual violence.

“Receiving timely medical attention in case of gender-based violence is essential, as sexual violence can lead to life-threatening infections,” Ms. Khadija Tul Kobra, UNFPA GBV case management officer stated in her remarks to the women participating in the training.