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“Be Brave not Violent”
Latinamerica Press
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Campaign directed at men aims to contribute to the reduction of violence against women and girls.

With the objective of getting young people and adults to reflect upon their sexist attitudes, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Nicaragua launched in mid-November the campaign “Be Brave not Violent.”

Various UN agencies in Ecuador launched the initiative in July. The campaign is aimed at young people in the region to become part of the solution to end violence against women.

 “Based on communication for social change, the campaign plans to carry out activities aimed at getting men and young people to consider and give a new meaning to being men and become allied to eradicate violence against women and girls and increase awareness about zero tolerance in these situations,” says the press release from the UNFPA office in Nicaragua.

According to the 2006/2007 Nicaraguan Demography and Health Survey, one in every 10 women between the ages of 15 and 49 in Nicaragua has experienced verbal/psychological, physical or sexual violence, and in the case of adolescents between 15 and 19 years of age, one in every three has experienced the three types of violence.

The campaign’s activities include transmitting the message through radio and television to make young people and adults sensitive towards gender violence. Additionally, it refers to masculinity with positive attributes, such as “bravery”, to create a link with values that do not imply being violent and generate positive actions, points out the UNFPA.

Carmen Rosa Villa, director of the Central America Regional Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, declared in a press conference in Managua that “unfortunately we still have in our region a sexist culture, stereotypes continue to be part of that behavior that creates discrimination and inequality.”

Police reports
The Law on Violence against Women, in force since June 2012, penalizes with 25 to 30 years in jail femicides perpetuated by any man with whom the female victim had any relationship, including current or former romantic partners, family members or friends. However, the National Police registered 53 femicides and 81 attempted femicide cases between January and September of this year.

Moreover, in that same period, 166,827 people turned to the Women, Children and Adolescent Police Stations to report gender violence cases, of which 22,855 made formal complaints.

In October the World Economic Forum considered Nicaragua among the 10 most advanced countries in gender equality. While the 2013 Global Gender Gap Report recognizes that women have an equal presence in governmental institutions, national authority and local governments, the issue of gender violence has not been taken into account.

 “We see advances in economic rights terms because there are projects and programs that are resolving the practical needs of women, we don’t deny this,” said Luz Marina Torres, from the Women against Violence Network, in statements to El Nuevo Diario newspaper. “But definitely there are no changes in attitudes. There are very few changes in the day-to-day sense of the relationships of power and equality.”
—Latinamerica Press.

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