Skopje/Belgrade/Pristina/Sarajevo, December 16, 2022 – the Bodyright campaign, which is implemented by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) worldwide, began in the Western Balkans with the participation of representatives from North Macedonia, supported by the UNFPA Office in Skopje.
UNFPA’s campaign is a global call to action to stop violence against women and girls in virtual spaces, including strengthening regional partnerships through creating consistent and effective legal measures, developing a glossary of terms in the field of digital violence against women and girls, partnerships with companies that work on technology and experiences in the online space, as well as generally strengthening awareness to combat digital violence, as well as gender-based violence in general.
Recently, the events included activities in Belgrade, Pristina, and Sarajevo, after the event in Skopje, which was the first in the series of meetings to promote the campaign, on June 20, this year. UNFPA Serbia, on November 17, presented the aspect of the need to develop a glossary of terms used in the virtual space regarding gender-based violence, which was attended by the representatives of North Macedonia, Ana Vasileva, a feminist and activist for the protection of human rights, and Sara Milenkovska, a public figure who actively advocates for the rights of women and girls.
The campaign continued in Pristina, on December 13, where the participants from North Macedonia, Elena Panova, director of marketing and digital transformation from the company A1, and Natasa Boskova, a lawyer, contributed to the panel discussions related to the role of tech companies in the field of online gender-based violence, as well as the legal protection of victims and survivors.
The last event in the series of events within the Bodyright campaign was held in Sarajevo, on December 15, discussing the legislation and prevention of online violence in the Western Balkans. The delegation from North Macedonia, consisting of Lidija Sterjov, head of the Department for Social Inclusion at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (MLSP), and Stojne Miteva, an activist and head of Sky Plus – a shelter for domestic violence victims and survivors from the municipality of Strumica, also participated in the panel discussions.
The Bodyright campaign in the region focuses on four aspects – adjusting the narrative surrounding gender-based violence by strengthening public awareness of all forms of online violence, reviewing and strengthening legislation on this type of violence, developing innovative solutions by tech companies for preventing digital violence, and improving Internet safety, as well as mobilizing the media and young people to fight against all forms of violence.