16 days of activism for the embassy of the Netherlands in Mozambique

The embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Mozambique kicked off the 1st day of the 16 Days of Activism with a video of Elsbeth Akkerman, Ambassador for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Mozambique talking about the importance of creating awareness about women’s rights. 16 days activism is part of the Paint the world Orange-campaign in the fight against gender based violence. 

On the 4th day, the embassy launched the Orange the World Campaign. Orange the World is the global campaign against violence against women and girls. The campaign takes place every year from the 25th of November, the International Day Against Violence Against Women, to the 10th of December, International Human Rights Day. The days in between are the 16 Days of Activism. The launch included an photo session with the Embassy staff.

On the 5th day, we organized Human Rights Talks with students from Polana Secondary School in cooperation with CESC and ASCHA to spread awareness  about the different types of gender-based violence.

The 7th day we screened the movie “Writing with Fire” for Journalism-students, this was done in cooperation with MISA. The movie is about human rights and freedom of speech. After watching the movie there was a discussion about both topics, and about how the current Journalism-students look at the importance press freedom.

On the 12th day, the Dutch Ambassador participated in a convention in Mozambique on the status of women that intended to discuss the 10 years implementation of the multisectoral integrated mechanism for the women victims of violence.

Dutch Ambassador for Women's Rights & Gender Equality, Pascalle Grotenhuis (on the right).

Ambassador for Human Rights

On Day 13 we welcomed the Dutch Ambassador for Women's Rights & Gender Equality, Pascalle Grotenhuis. As part of the visit Pascalle had a meeting with the Minister of Gender and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Mozambique to present the Netherland’s Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP) and to invite Mozambique to attend the ministerial conference on FFP to be held in The Hague. Furthermore, she had a lunch with several Ambassadors based in Mozambique and civil society activists to explain the Netherland’s FFP and collect input for its design.

Pascalle was also present at the signing of the Gender Pledge drafted by our embassy team. This Gender Pledge sets out specific commitments and key actions on gender equality for all colleagues at the Embassy, including specific actions for managers in order to uphold and promote (gender) equality. The Pledge is a commitment and provides guidance to all and will be discussed and evaluated on a regular basis in order to ensure that together we 'can walk our talk'.

This year's winner of the Embassy Tulip Award is Júlia Vilanculos.

Embassy Tulip Award

The ceremony for the Embassy Tulip Award took place on Day 14. The Embassy Tulip Award is an award that is given annually to a human rights activist. This year's winner was Júlia Vilanculos. Júlia has been a sex worker and social activist for 15 years. She currently coordinates the National Platform for the Rights of Sex Workers.

The meeting with the Youth Advisory Board.

Youth Advisory Board

Day 15 saw the first meeting with the Youth Advisory Board, a consultative group of seven young people with the purpose of creating the opportunity to consult youth and integrate their views on selected policy, strategy and implementation issues. Also, there was a joint Op-Ed of a group of Ambassadors about Child and Forced Marriage published in the newspaper.

The last day started with a breakfast meeting with local organizations that are part of the Consortia for the ongoing Strategic Partnership Program that aims to strengthen the capacity of the Civil Society. In total there are 42 strategic partnerships that are funded by the Netherlands. From there, 13 are active in Mozambique. The 16 days closed with an Orange Talk given by 3 male activists on engaging men in the fight against gender-based violence. At the end there was a drink where there was an opportunity to connect and talk about the different activities.