Chargé d’Affaires Robin Diallo’s Participation in Gender-based Violence (GBV)
Survivor Storytelling and Panel Advocacy Event
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Ambassador’s Residence as we continue to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence. From the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 to International Human Rights Day on December 10, the campaign galvanizes action to end violence against women and girls. We are pleased that each of you took time this evening to commit to learn how we might build a more responsive community together.
Gender-based violence is the most prevalent human rights violation in the world and undermines the health, dignity and security of the most vulnerable populations, particularly women and children. According to the Republique d’Haiti Ministère de La Santé Publique et de La Population, one in three Haitian women aged 15–49 has experienced physical and/or sexual violence at least once in her life. This is unfortunately reflective of the worldwide statistics, and women and girls everywhere are disproportionately affected by violence.
I do not want this speech to be annoying with facts and statistics. It is an emotional situation. When we talk about gender-based violence, we should cry. It breaks lives. If we talk about gender-based violence in cold speeches, it will have no impact. We must voice it out, and stand against it to demand change.
I want to thank our storytellers. It takes incredible courage to tell your stories tonight, and I thank you for trusting us to honor such bravery. We cry with you.
I also want to thank our panelists who work every day in communities throughout Haiti to fight the dangers that face women and girls and to support survivors of violence. You are the activists, physicians, and service providers that make me confident the future of women and girls in Haiti are more secure.
The U.S. government works hard to support Haitian organizations that combat violence against women. For example, USAID has funded Konbat Vyolans, a coalition of Haitian organizations working to strengthen resource centers for survivors of gender-based violence, offering emergency shelter, medical care, legal aid, and psychosocial support.
Most recently, PEPFAR sponsored the production of videos in collaboration with J Perry and Tonton Bicha, which you will hopefully see all over social media tomorrow night. These videos are made by Haitians for Haitians. Help us contribute to change through individual efforts.
I thank you all for coming this evening for such an important event and, on behalf of the US government; I look forward to a continued partnership to bring an end to gender-based violence. We are here for you. We must all work together, from the bottom of the heart, with tears, joy, and love.