The Arab Institute for Women

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16 Days of Activism: Panel Discussion

On the 9th of December, 2016, ESCWA in partnership with IWSAW, ABAAD, and UN Women hosted a panel discussion entitled “Estimating the Cost of Violence against Women (VAW) in the Arab Region”, to promote awareness against gender-based violence (GBV), in the event of the 16 Days of Activism.

The discussion hosted key speakers and experts on GBV, and was moderated by Lina Abirafeh, Director of IWSAW.

The first speaker Blerta Alika, UN-Women Arab States Office, presented data on the multiple types of GBV in the Arab region, and offered solutions to address this extreme violation of Human Rights.


Ghida Anani, Director and Founder of Abaad, presented a short video showing ‘Abaad Dar Program’, which illustrates a service to curb GBV and support survivors.

Finally, Mehrinaz El Awady, Director of ESCWA Center for Women, introduced the on-going study on ‘Estimating the Cost of violence Against Women in the Arab Region’, which aims to analyze the status of Arab Women, in order to identify the need for capacity building and to develop an economic model suited for the region.

Lastly, the winner of the online video competition, Kourken Papazian, showed his video, ‘Covering up’ and explained its main message and objective, followed by a discussion.

In conclusion, the recommendations presented by the international and regional experts on GBV included: The need for inclusive policies, women’s right to protection, bottom up approach (raising awareness on the ground), and tools to measure the economic cost of VAW and to inform policy makers on the cost of violence, in order to address this violation of Human Rights.