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Ending violence against woman and girls is high on the agenda of Norway.

As a country that has a long tradition of rules prohibiting violence against women and children, it was with great pleasure for the Norwegian Embassy in Luanda to attend the opening of the 16 days of the UN Campaign for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, under the 2020 theme " Orange the World: Fund; Respond; Prevent; Collect!" The event was hosted by the Ministry of Social Action, Family and Gender promotion in Angola.

Violence against women and girls is one of the most devastating human rights violations in today's world and remains largely unreported due to silence, fear, impunity, stigma and sometimes shame. The adverse psychological, sexual and reproductive health consequences affect women at all stages of their life and can leave lifelong traumas.

The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have triggered a significant increase on the figures of gender-based violence. It is unfortunate that there are still 35 countries worldwide that do not have laws to end domestic violence or address it.

We believe that gender-based violence continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality.

The Norwegian Embassy will continue to work and support for the promotion of human rights and gender equality and woman empowerment. We are committed and determined to work with the UN and the Angolan authorities not only to determine the root causes but also to help implement strategies to prevent gender-based violence and to support the victims to overcome trauma.

Prevention is the best way to end violence without all of the consequences that come as a result, but it would require political commitment and the implementation of laws that promote gender-equality and addressing the various form of discrimination against women.