» Singer and composer from Uruguay promotes the ¡No! to violence against women
28.05.2012 - UNESCO Havana/Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Singer and composer from Uruguay promotes the ¡No! to violence against women

© UNESCO Havana. Malena and Haila showing their red thumb nails as a sign of support for the YO DIGO NO campaign in Cuba

Composer and singer Malena Muyala is a spokeswoman for the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s campaign “UNITE” to end violence against women and girls and is a busy activist in her country, Uruguay. The famous tango Singer participated in Havana’s 16th International Music Festival CUBADISCO 2012, and was awarded the highest recognition for international guest artists. Malena met with the United Nations System in Cuba at the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean along with her producer, Carola Bechara, to share the actions carried out under the umbrella of the UNITE campaign in her country.

The inter-agency gender group also presented the Uruguayan singer with the events and activities that took place in Cuba in November 2011 for the official launching of the campaign under the slogan "YO DIGO NO – a la violencia contra la mujer". The sixteen days of activism, which start every year on November 25, provided the stage for seminars and concerts with prominent Cuban artistes that also joined the campaign as spokespersons. Malena Muyala welcomed these initiatives and stressed the need to emphasize on prevention of violence. She encouraged the system to take advantage of the popularity of local artists with leadership in their communities to fight, from childhood, the scourge of gender-based violence, a pandemic that does not distinguish social classes or education levels. Tatiana Villegas, focal point for the campaign at the UNESCO Regional Office, stressed the advantages of regional coordination in order to enhance the effectiveness of the campaign through synergies amongst national chapters of the UNITE campaign in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Through contacts made by Yanet Toirac, press assistant of the same UNESCO Office, Malena was interviewed in several musical programs of the Cuban Radio and Television Institute (ICRT), such as the popular Saturday evening programme ‘23 y M’, with the well known Cuban salsa singer and spokeswoman of the campaign in Cuba, Haila María Mompié. Malena’s concert at the Cuban Museum of Fine Arts and the interview that took place after her presentation were also broadcasted during the cultural segment of the Sunday TV Journal on May 27th.

Malena is a central player in her country of the UNITE campaign, which includes her participation in the theatre play “The Vagina’s Monologues”, the photo exhibit "En tu piel", with the group Women in Black, and promotes the Secretary-General’s campaign to end violence against women and girls under the slogan “ACTIVATE URUGUAY”. ACTIVATE URUGUAY was born thanks to the cooperation between the UN system in Uruguay and the Visionair Foundation in 2010 with the support of government institutions and the civil society of this South American country.

Considered by the specialized press as a reference in Tango interpretation, Malena Muyala represented her country in the celebrations at the occasion of the inscription of Tango, shared by Argentina and Uruguay, on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Heritage of Humanity. CUBADISCO 2012 awarded Malena for her record "Pebeta de mi Barrio", that includes themes base on a community project that she initiated in the popular neighbourhoods of Montevideo where she found inspiration for her compositions.

Launched in 2008, the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign of UN’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls in all parts of the world. UNiTE calls on governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls. "UNETE Latin America" started in Guatemala on November 25, 2009 and has now extended to the Caribbean and most countries in Latin America though three essential pillars: No more impunity; No more victims; and it is everyone’s responsibility.

UNiTE Website

Malena Muyala in a spot of the Red Uruguaya contra la Violencia Doméstica y Sexual
More information in the Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

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