Ciné-ONU Vienna screening: Women fighting to survive

Gender equality and the ending of violence against women is at the very heart of the United Nations and key to the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights. As part of the Human Rights 75 film tour and to mark World Day of Social Justice, the February-edition of Cine-ONU Vienna featured the documentary “My Name is Happy” on the inspirational story of young singer Mutlu Kaya who turned from a survivor of a femicide attempt to an advocate for women’s rights in Türkiye and beyond.

VIENNA, 19 February 2024 – “My Name is Happy” is an emotional and inspirational film portraying first-hand the consequences of gender-based violence and femicide. The film put a face to the rising statistics of gender-related killings and femicides and shared the story of Mutlu Kaya who was shot by a man and survived a bullet to the head. Her passion for music and her love of singing gave her the strength to fight for her life as she learns to be able to sing again and writes her first song. After this tragic experience, Mutlu lost the person she was closest to, her sister, to femicide. By opening up to the world about her experiences through TikTok and going to protests, Mutlu and her family are trying to fight violence against women and create change.

After the screening the discussion centred on how to prevent violence against women and achieve gender equality, with Helene Gressenbauer-Rösner, President of UN Women Austria, and Angela Me, Chief of the Research Branch at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The discussion was moderated by Martin Nesirky, Director of the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Vienna.


Numerous topics were raised as the audience was eager to ask the panelists questions about the themes the film touched upon. Angela Me spoke about the importance of collecting data around femicides: “It is like having an iceberg, and there is a lot under there, but the reported cases are only the tip of the iceberg.” The lack of political will is one of the core problems as to why this information is missing, she said, highlighting that only 95 Member States provide UNODC with data on femicides.

One of the audience members asked what could be done to change the mindset of men who do not understand the injustice of such horrific acts. Gressenbauer explained that education of children is key to solving this issue. She also talked about an approach in Viet Nam where male influencers and VIPs come together and to discuss and learn about how to treat women: “It was like a club, a very sophisticated, privileged club.” Through such methods UN Women is trying to change habits and reinforce gender equality.

The screening was shown as part of the Human Rights 75 Film Tour 2023-2024 in cooperation with the International Film Festival and Forum for Human Rights (FIFDH) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).