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In order to promote zero tolerance towards the practice of violence against women and girls, and in particular domestic violence, UN Women in Georgia cooperates with the Georgian Rugby Union (GRU) since 2010 to create positive role models among prominent Georgian rugby players through a range of joint activities.
On November 24, 2012, under the umbrella of the UN Secretary General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign, the international rugby game Fiji vs. Georgia took place. The match was dedicated to the elimination of violence against women and girls and commemorated the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.
On November 23, at the pre-match press conference, the Chief Coach of the Georgian National Rugby Team, Milton Haig with the team Capitan, Irakli Abuselidze wearing UNiTE campaign t-shirts with the slogan “let women abusers come and scrum with us!” talked extensively about the Georgian Rugby Union’s (GRU) participation in the UNiTE campaign and activities planned to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence in 2012.
– “I, as the chief coach of the Georgian National Rugby Team, believe that it is an honor for us to be part of this campaign and our participation in this very important initiative is crucial, especially when targeting boys and men for changing their attitudes and behavior. I am happy that the GRU has lots of activities planned in partnership with UN Women to support this cause. As a husband and father of two daughters, I actively support and participate in the UN Secretary General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign activities. Violence against women is not an individual problem, but rather a problem of the society at large and with the campaign activities we want to change the reasoning, attitudes and behavioral patterns of the people, especially men and boys. We want to dedicate the international test match between Fiji and Georgia to the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. I want to call on all men and boys never to tolerate and to condemn violence against women!” –the Chief Coach Milton Haig said at the press conference.
The world rugby legend from New Zealand, Tana Umaga attended the pre-match training of the Georgian National Rugby Team and in his interview he expressed his support to the United Nations Secretary General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign. He further noted that rugby is a sport of values of courage, team spirit and mutual respect; therefore for rugby players any kind of violence and especially violence against women and girls is intolerable in any circumstance.
On November 24 thousands of Georgian fans gathered at the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium to support the Georgian National Rugby Team vs. Fiji. The live cast on the Georgian Public Broadcasting Channel (exclusive partner of the match) gathered millions of match viewers in Georgia.
The UNiTE Campaign was one of the main highlights of the match. The campaign banners were placed at the stadium and public service announcements starring prominent Georgian rugby players condemning violence against women were aired on the stadium screens during the match. A special man of the match award, presented by UN Women in the frameworks of the UNiTE campaign to the best payer from the Fiji Team – JONETANI RALULU made the match very special.
|Action Type:||16 Days|