International forum on "SDGs from a gender perspective: Tunisia's post-COVID-19 priorities” kicks off
10/08/2020 19:48, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - The international forum on "Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from a gender perspective: Tunisia’s post-COVID-19 priorities", kicked off Monday in Tunis.

The event held by the Ministry of Women, Family, Children and Elderly Affairs is attended by representatives of foreign countries, international and national organisations, experts from different fields and representatives of public structures and components of civil society.

On the first day of this forum, which runs until 12 August and is part of the celebration of National Women's Day, corresponding to August 13 each year, panel discussions were held to shed light on several issues, including combating violence against women, digitalization and innovation in the service of equality, and SDGs and their contribution to upholding gender equality.

During the first workshop, which focused on the difficulties encountered by women during the general lockdown in Tunisia due to domestic violence, Ahlam Bouserwal, coordinator of the UN/Women programme stressed that violence has significantly increased during this period with more than 4,000 cases of violence against women and children.

Representatives of associations that took part in the meeting, including the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women said the justice system has not paid attention to this phenomenon and courts and several structures in charge of social affairs have been closed, especially during the first part of the lockdown period.

With regard to the health aspect, specialists considered that the abused women have not been taken care of, particularly in certain interior regions which still lack some health facilities, calling for the reimbursement of the costs of care spent by the victims.

The Ministry of Women, Family, Children and Elderly Affairs has recorded approximately 6,700 calls on the 1899 helpline for women and children victims of violence, distributed among 134 physical violence, 1,462 psychological violence and 329 sexual violence, 763 economic violence, 15 institutional violence and 1,624 verbal violence, as well as 448 notices for children at risk and 38 notices for the elderly.

The first day of the forum included works of sectoral committees, through involvement of representatives of government structures, the private sector and civil society organisations and participation of intergovernmental international cooperation agencies to formulate recommendations calling for gender mainstreaming in development plans, including short-term measures to be taken.

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