International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

date: 25 November 2013

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders issued a reminder that women and girls are all too often the victims of violence in conflicts all over the world. This is certainly the case in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where armed groups continue to commit such acts in spite of efforts to re-establish peace and stability in the region.

This International Day is an opportunity to unite against these unacceptable deeds, regardless of where they may be carried out. It also provides an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts made by all those who spend their lives trying to bring these atrocities to an end and offer support to victims. Above all, Didier Reynders wishes to underline the remarkable work of Dr Mukwege in Bukavu, DRC. His active support for female victims of sexual violence has helped to attract the attention of the international community on this tragedy and has now achieved a symbolic dimension that goes far beyond the many women he helps every day.

The promotion and protection of human rights and their universality is one of the priorities of Belgium’s foreign policy and one of the guiding principles of Minister Reynders’ policy. Women’s rights play a central role in this perspective. Minister Reynders also pointed out that the elimination of violence against women is a major element of a second Belgian action plan in the framework of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security). By combining these priorities with the actions of Development Cooperation, we have a very extensive policy that will continue to contribute to the fight against this intolerable scourge.