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Cairo, Egypt, 19 October 2016 – Together with UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, UN Women is launching the “Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence” on Thursday, October 20 in the United Arab Emirates.

The package has been developed as part of a four-year joint global programme between UNFPA and UN Women, in partnership with WHO, UNDP and UNODC with the goal of providing female survivors of violence better access to a coordinated set of essential and quality services that include cooperation in the fields of health, police, justice and social services so that the survivor receives protection, health services, legal counselling and psycho-social support.

The package of services is introduced to the Arab States for the first time as the launch takes
place on the side of the second “Investing in the Future” conference organized in the UAE by UN Women and the UAE’s “The Big Heart Foundation” under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah..

“The conference presents an excellent opportunity to directly communicate our messages to the many participating government and civil society representatives,” said Mohammad Naciri, UN Women Regional Director for Arab States. “Women are violated twice, first when they are subjected to assault, just for being women- and second when they are denied their rights to care, support and justice,” he added noting the importance of awareness raising and the need to reverse social acceptability of some forms of violence against women and girls.

The programme identifies the various components of an effective and comprehensive response to violence, including direct services but also ways to influence policy and social norms and practices. “Society should move towards criminalizing violence against women and girls, said Luay Shabaneh, UNFPA’s Director for the Arab region. Survivors need to know that they are free to access essential services without the fear of social stigma. This package is the answer but needs commitment by policy-makers and adherence by service-providers,” he added in reference to the role of adequate anti-violence legislations and availability of health and other responses.

The package assists in the recovery and empowerment of women, and stops violence from reoccurring by bringing together all relevant entities and ensuring their respective areas are complementary and all lead to eliminating acts of violence against women and girls.