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Violence Against Women is a Grave Offense – says Gender Advocates

The Thinakun Ekeh Campaign to end domestic violence in the Maldives, and to mark the 16 days of activism on eliminating violence against women was launched for the fourth consecutive year in Maldives on 25 November 2013. This year's campaign was lead by the Gender Advocacy Working Group (GAWG) with the support of many partners including the UN, NGOs, media, public sector and passionate individuals in the Maldives, focused on the theme: "Thinakun Ekeh - Bodu Kusheh"

"Thinakun Ekeh" has been the theme throughout the four years with a slight shift each year was initially coined to advocate for the Domestic Violence Bill that became effective from April 2012,. Thinakun Ekeh means "One in three" and refers to the commonly known statistic that one in three Maldivian women, between the ages of 15 - 49 have suffered physical, sexual and/or psychological abuse at some point in her life.

In 2010, the theme was "Thinakun Ekeh - Geveshi Aniya Huttuvumah" (One in three - To Stop Domestic Violence), in 2011, it was "Thinakun Ekeh - Insaafu Hoadhumah" (One in three - For Justice), in 2012, it was "Thinakun Ekeh - Huhjathey Neh" (One in three - No Excuse), and in 2013 the theme was "Thinakun Ekeh - Bodu Kusheh" (One in three - Grave Offense).

Three main strategies included billboards in all islands, panel discussion to mark the 20th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Facebook and Twitter campaigns. The message highlighted that violence is forbidden in Islam. The campaign song "geveshi hiyaa", developed in 2010 and sung by a famous local artist continue to be a hit. It was used widely in the media including the social media to advocate for the cause. Television and radio was used as well.

The Gender Advocacy Working Group is a neutral platform created in 2011 by UNFPA for organizations and passionate individuals as a network for gender advocacy. Since 2013, the secretariat has been Hope for Women, a local NGO. UNFPA, UN Women, UNICEF and OHCHR have provided financial and technical support to the Gender Advocacy Working Group.

For more information or interview requests, please contact: 
Shadiya Ibrahim, Assistant Representative, UNFPA Maldives, 7924844

For further resources, please visit: UNFPAMaldives