UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Manizha Visits Almaty to Promote Initiatives Against Gender-Based Violence

NUR-SULTAN – Singer, finalist of Eurovision 2021 and UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Russia Goodwill Ambassador Manizha visited Almaty on Dec. 9 to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, reported the UNHCR Central Asia.

L-R: UN Women Representative in Kazakhstan Maria Dotsenko, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Manizha, UNHCR Representative for Central Asia Hans Friedrich Schodder and UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Michaela Friberg-Storey. Photo credit: UN in Kazakhstan.

Manizha became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency in December 2020. She helps to raise awareness for the UN agency’s campaigns and assists in fundraising for the most vulnerable people in Russia. 

This year, Manizha launched the SILSILA Foundation for Support and Protection of People in Difficult Life Situations. Manizha and her mother Najiba Usmanova visited Central Asia “to study the cultural traditions, mentality and legislative experience in the fight against domestic violence, see how the work of public organizations helped women on the ground,” she said during the press conference.

This will help the founder to develop the protocols of the SILSILA Foundation and work out a program of assistance in Russia using the experience of Central Asian countries. 

“For me, these 16 days are perhaps the most valuable days of the year… We cannot cope without the experience of neighboring countries. Kazakhstan is the most important point on the map for us,” she said.

UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Michaela Friberg-Storey expressed support for Manizha’s readiness to share her experience with local women’s initiatives and meet with survivors of gender-based violence.

According to Friberg-Storey, the global campaign has a mission to raise public awareness of gender-based violence and its destructive impact, change the mentality regarding violence, and step up efforts to combat violence against women and girls. “To achieve all of this, we need effective collaboration and successful partnerships,” she added. 

UNHCR Representative for Central Asia Hans Friedrich Schodder noted that the global issues related to violence require not only state-run actions but also support from civil society, the international community and Goodwill Ambassadors like Manizha. 

Manizha and her team also discussed the situation in the region with international experts, public activists, representatives of crisis centers, human rights organizations, bloggers in Almaty.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign is held annually from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10. 

This year Kazakhstan joined the global Coalition of Action to Combat Gender-Based Violence. Kazakh President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev set a task to toughen administrative responsibility for domestic violence as a response measure to reduce the domestic violence rate during the Nov. 16 meeting of the National Council of Public Trust. 

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