THE PRIVATE SECTOR JOINS THE FIGHT AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
Press Release - 28 March 2017
Ulaanbaatar – In a handover ceremony held at the UN House today, the UNFPA formally received a generous in-kind donation from GurvanBileg LLC towards victims of domestic violence in the country. The renowned Mongolian manufacturing and trading company is a nationwide supplier of women’s clothing, intimate apparel, cosmetics and personal care products. The donation of 750 pieces of women’s underwear is worth approximately 3,966,000 MNT and will benefit the women and girls serviced by the UNFPA-supported 2 shelters and 6 One Stop Service Centers (OSSC) for victims of domestic violence in Ulaanbaatar, Zavkhan, Gobi-Altai, and Bayankhongor aimags respectively.
One OSSC alone can receive an average of 25 women and girls per month or 300 per year. These range from girls as young as 12 to women over 45. The largest percentage of women seeking help from one shelter are aged 26-35 (40% of the total clientele). It is not uncommon that some of the women are repeat visitors which reflects continuing violent home situations and an inability to change their circumstances due to a varied challenges, including economic limitations, psychological trauma and social stigmas to name a few.
The donation of women’s underwear is particularly important as victims of domestic violence often arrive at these centers with little or no resources, and least of all a fresh change of clothes. They have typically fled their homes with no time to prepare for their departure in order to escape physical, sexual and verbal assault, seeking temporary sanctuary, medical attention, legal assistance and direct support. As such, OSSC and the shelters are an important mechanism in the response to victims of DV, and in combating GBV as a whole. Donations such as this help victims meet some of their very basic needs while in recovery or transition.
“UNFPA recognizes GurvanBileg LLC’s contribution to victims of domestic violence as a prime example of how the private sector has the potential to make a real difference in actively combating GBV in the country by supporting safe spaces where victims can find the help they need, “says Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative. “If other companies such as theirs also aim to fulfill their corporate social responsibility and can be mobilized to share their core services and unique resources, imagine the potential capacity to help more women and girls in need.”
Gender-based violence (GBV), particularly Domestic Violence (DV) remains to be one of the most serious and life‐threatening human rights violations in Mongolia and in the world. 1 in 3 women worldwide will experience some form of violence in their lifetime. A 2015 assessment conducted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights revealed that GBV and DV are prevalent and widespread in Mongolia. A survey on prevalence pf GBV in Mongolia will be conducted for the first time in the country by the National Statistics Office in 2017, with the support of UNFPA and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The results of this survey will reflect a more accurate picture of the scope of the problem. While those results are still forthcoming, national administrative data reveals an upward trend in cases of GBV based on police reports alone.
In 2016, more domestic violence crimes were reported to the police, and it was a
- 6.9 % increase, compared to 2015;
- 90.7 % of the victims are women and girls; and
- A total of 18 people died from domestic violence in 2016, and 1,217 people were injured.
Ms. Kitahara also emphasized that the elimination of gender-based violence is not the work of one individual entity, such as UNFPA. “It is essential that the government, MPs, CSOs, the public, international community and the private sector come together and stay committed, together.” she says.