Palauan citizens of different age groups and agencies assembled together in front of Belau National Gymnasium on November 25th (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to bring awareness of gender-based violence. Proudly holding signs that say things such as “End violence against women” or “Don’t Hit. Give a Hug”, they waved enthusiastically to the crowd and even garnering positive reactions from people driving by.

Also of great significance was the shirts they were wearing, according to a press release from the Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs, “the theme of this year UN 16 days campaign, which uses the orange color to symbolize hope and a brighter future without violence against women, is “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape”

Not only were the people wearing orange, they also had the #he4she4us which symbolizes the commitment of Palau to end violence alongside cultural values of gender balance, mutual respect, and support for all that are in the community.

As mentioned before, this is a 16 day campaign that kick started at International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25th and will reach its end at December 10 which is Human Rights Day. During the course of these 16 days, MCCA will continue to promote activism against gender-based violence through social media or reaching out to the community specifically high schools on December 2nd.

The government agencies that are involved with the 16 day activities are all in partnership with the implementation of the Family Protection Act such as Judiciary Attorney-General office, police, Bureau of Public Safety, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs, whom also coordinated the sign raising event at Belau National Gymnasium.

Finally, as of 2014, according to a survey conducted by national family health and safety one quarter of women in Palau (25.2 percent)  have experienced physical and or/ sexual violence by a partner. Also worth noting, the Family Protection Act ensures that the victim afflicted by gender based abuse will receive maximum protection under the law. When reporting a crime related to gender abuse a person can call the police or Makka Oimei, who works at the Supreme Court. (Telbakes Yano)