In doing so, the United Nations invited governments, international organizations as well as NGOs to join together and raise public awareness every year on that date. Twenty years on, the battle to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world remains a challenge worldwide.
World Heritage is also concerned, as any other human environment, by this important matter.
Women play a crucial role in the identification, conservation, management and interpretation of World Heritage sites, and they make up a large proportion of the workforce in the communities in and around the properties including in tourism activities related to World Heritage.
Despite advocacy efforts, they still face – whatever their background and age – daily challenges in the mission to transmit our common heritage to future generations. For example, women working in the hospitality and tourism sector, in particular, are reported by UN Women to face risks of violence and harassment that are much higher than for men.
On the occasion of this year’s edition of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, UNESCO's World Heritage Centre would like to draw the attention of World Heritage communities and stakeholders everywhere, in all 194 State Parties to the World Heritage Convention, focal points and site managers, to the need for ensuring safe working conditions for all, free of gender-based violence.
As properties are recognized for their exemplary management and preservation of Outstanding Universal Value, World Heritage sites must also be global examples of gender-balanced, safe, harassment-free environments.
Ending violence against women and girls is critical to achieving sustainable development and more peaceful societies. The UNESCO World Heritage Centre urges our World Heritage communities everywhere to join us.