Moldovan elderly women will be better protected from violence

Photo: UN Women/Marina Vatav

Elderly women from Moldova will be more informed about their rights and will be better protected from violence. HelpAge International in partnership with Gender Centru, and supported by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) launched the 3-year project "Ensuring Gender and Age Dimensions of Human Rights are realized in Moldova” that will be implemented during 2017-2020 in 8 localities from Moldova.

The project aims to increase elderly women’s knowledge about their rights, encourage them to access support services, and work with civil society to mobilize eight communities in the south and center of the country to get involved in preventing violence against elderly women.

Claudia Cîrja has worked as a volunteer to help elderly women, survivors of violence in Carabetovca, a village in the South of Moldova.

“Violence against elderly women hurts us all. Most elderly women kept silence about the abuse that they go through, it was difficult for them to open up and tell us their stories. Elderly persons have built our country and have raised and educated new generations. We owe them a lot,” said Cîrja. She will continue to work with communities in the next three years.

Violence against women is wide spread in Moldova. According to a 2014 study by HelpAge every third elderly person in Moldova has experienced violence. Two thirds of them are women. Every second elderly person has reported psychological violence, more than a third have been through economic violence, and every sixth have experienced physical violence.

“Abuse against elderly women is a hidden issue, women don’t speak about it. Our goal is to see that every elderly woman knows her rights and that they don’t accept domestic violence as being normal” said Tatiana Sorocan, from HelpAge Moldova.

Moldova has signed The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). The next step for the country is to ratify it.

“In 2017 Moldova has signed the Istanbul Convention. This motivates us, in the Government, to continue working on combating violence against women,” said Anastasia Oceretnii, Deputy Minister of Health, Labour and Social Protection, at the opening event.

“Women are the ones who bring change, and only together we can end violence against women. In every community there are happy families, and elderly women who overcame violence. We have to identify and expand these solutions,“ said Corneliu Eftodi, Programme Officer, UN Women Moldova.

"Ensuring Gender and Age Dimensions of Human Rights are realized in Moldova” project will be realized between 2017-2020 in 8 localities in Moldova. This is the third project funded by UN Trust Fund in Moldova, with previous projects implemented in 2000 and 2008. The UN Trust Fund is the only global grant-making mechanism that is dedicated exclusively to addressing all forms of violence against women and girls. The Fund is managed by UN Women on behalf of the UN System. The funds raised support initiatives that have a tangible and sustainable impact.