UNCCD staff supports local charity to help end violence against women

Head of UNCCD Staff Association Marcos Montoiro and Facility Manager of Haus Maria Königin Elisabeth Bergmann

Photo (L to R): Head of UNCCD Staff Association Marcos Montoiro and Facility Manager of Haus Maria Königin Elisabeth Bergmann

Bonn, Germany – This holiday season, the UNCCD has made a collective monetary contribution to Haus Maria Königin, a Bonn charity that assists women and children in need of shelter, to help address increased violence against women.  

2020 has been overshadowed by a global pandemic that has exacerbated risk factors for violence against women and girls worldwide: food shortages, unemployment, economic insecurity, school closures, and confined living conditions. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, emerging data and reports show an alarming increase in domestic violence against women and girls, including physical, psychological, sexual and economic dimensions. 

To help raise awareness on violence against women worldwide and support the humanitarian efforts of their host city, UNCCD staff is honored to play its part and contribute to helping women at-risk. 

“It is a sad truth that already in the beginning of the pandemic UN women estimated that 243 million women and girls worldwide have faced physical and sexual violence perpetrated by their intimate partner in the past 12 months.” says Marcos Montoiro, Head of UNCCD Staff Association. “Bonn is the home of UNCCD, and we feel it is very important that we give back to our community. With our contribution, we hope to contribute to ending violence against women, in partnership with civil society.  We applaud Haus Maria Königin for providing a safe shelter to those who need it, especially in these difficult times. The ultimate aim of Haus Maria Königin is to support women in reclaiming their independence.”

“The COVID-19 situation hit us hard. When everyone around us went locked their doors, we kept our doors open following strict health regulations. The calls for help and shelter have increased significantly since the beginning of the first lockdown and every day we receive new calls that we cannot respond to due to lack of space. At the moment more than 100 homeless women, some with children, are receiving shelter and support through our various services.  This donation means a lot to us in these times and help alleviate the deficits caused by the pandemic. Despite the current situation, we will do our best to make Christmas a beautiful one for all those we care for and especially for the children.” says Ms. Bergmann, Facility Manager of Haus Maria Königin.

The UNCCD staff association charity action is aligned with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence – an international campaign that runs from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, the Human Rights Day – to raise awareness on the fact that violence against women remains a prevalent breach of human rights worldwide. 

Together, we can make decisive progress towards ending violence against women and girls and achieve gender equality by 2030.