(CPV) – “The Love Journey”is a social media campaign aimed at preventing gender-based violence. The organizers hope that by promoting discussion and action amongst youth participants will learn and appreciate the facets of a caring and respectful relationships. Campaign organisers will begin accepting idea submissions on December 4 th from individuals at www.htyt.vn .
The campaign links romantic love and friendship with gender equality and non-violence.
The campaign consists of two online photography and advocacy competitions that will culminate in an offline event on December 16 th .
Phase I of the photography competition will begin on November 25 th . Contestants will be asked to form teams and submit photos essays on actions that are signs of a healthy relationship. Voting for the ideas in Phase 1 begins on December 7 th with the first winners to be announced on December 11th.
Phase II will begin on December 13 th . This will be open to the top 20 winners of Phase I, and contestants will be asked to submit in-depth photos essays on what actions, small or large, are required to realise a healthy relationship. Voting for the entrees in Phase II begins on December 20 th , with the winners, awarded two IPads, announced on December 31 st .
The “16 days of activism” competition will begin on December 12 th , and is aimed at high school and university students. Contestants will be asked to develop ideas for creating violence free schools and communities. Voting will begin on December 25 th , with the winner of one Ipad announced on December 31 st .
The contest winners will be awarded Ipads and trips to Bangkok to visit the regional UN headquarters for their ideas that promote gender equality and non-violence in intimate relationships.
Well-known rock musician and outspoken advocate of gender equality, Pham Anh Khoa, supports and is participating in the campaign: “I do believe respect, trust, understanding, love, equality and non-violence are key principles of a healthy relationship. There is no place for force and violence in love. True friends listen to and respect each other’s opinions. We (both men and women) should work towards making our relationships healthy,” he said.
“The Love Journey takes a new approach to the prevention of gender-based violence and promotion of gender equality in Vietnam”, said Benjamin Swanton, the Joint Campaign for Prevention of Domestic Violence (JCC) Project Manager from Paz y Desarrollo (PyD) who is coordinating the campaign.
“Instead of telling people to not perpetrate violence, we are focusing on encouraging positive, gender-equitable and non-violent attitudes among youth, who are still forming their ideas about gender relations and what it means to be a man and a woman. This activity will help young people to build relationship skills that they can take into adult life,” he added.
Speaking on the subject of the campaign, Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, said, “We must engage all of society and especially young people. In particular, young men and boys must be encouraged to become the advocates we need. We need to promote healthy models of masculinity. Too many young men still grow up surrounded by outmoded male stereotypes. By talking to friends and peers about violence against women and girls, and by taking action to end it, they can help break the ingrained behavior of generations.”
Bruce Campbell, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam, echoing Ban Ki-Moon’s statement about the need to involve men and boys, said, “More needs to be done to persuade men and boys to accept their role in preventing violence and in protecting and respecting women. Men have a critical role to play; women alone cannot end Domestic Violence. It must be done in partnership by all of us.”
The Love Journey social media campaign is supported by organizations dedicated to the prevention of gender-based violence and violence against women: Paz y Desarrollo (PyD); Partners for Prevention (P4P), the UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women and UNV regional programme for Asia and the Pacific; the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the United Nations Vietnam.