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What The International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women Is About

One of the most widespread and devastating human rights violations in the world today is the violence against women and girls.

Gender inequality is persistent in the workplace, the family, education and society in general. To achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, more vigorous efforts are required, including legal frameworks, to counter deeply rooted gender-based discrimination that often results from patriarchal attitudes and related social norms.

Violence against women is the most extreme form of discrimination.

According to a report by the UN Secretary-General on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, on the basis of data from 2005 to 2016 for 87 countries, 19 percent of women between 15 and 49 years of age said they had experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in the 12 months prior to the survey. In 2012, almost half of all women who were victims of intentional homicide worldwide were killed by an intimate partner or family member, compared to six percent of male victims.

Another extreme case of violence against women is female genital mutilation, a harmful practice which has declined by 24 percent since 2000 but remains high in some of the 30 countries with representative data. In those countries, survey data from around 2015 indicate that more than 1 in 3 girls between 15 and 19 years of age have undergone the procedure compared to nearly 1 in 2 girls around 2000.


Based on 2012 data for 45 countries, 43 of which are in developing regions, only about 52 percent of women between 15 and 49 years of age who are married or in a relationship make their own decisions about consensual sexual relations and use of contraceptives and health services.

If these statistics don’t spur you to take action against violence against women, then one can only wonder what will.

Research also shows that achieving gender equality helps in preventing conflict, and high rates of violence against women correlate with outbreaks of conflict. This evidence, however, doesn’t improve the actions for women’s inclusion, leadership and protection.

Lack of funding is one of the major challenges to efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls worldwide. As a result, resources for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women and girls are severely lacking. Frameworks that include a specific target for ending violence against women and girls, offer huge promise but must be adequately funded in order to bring real and significant changes in the lives of women and girls.

This year, the European Union and the United Nations launched the Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls.  UNiTE is another initiative that seeks to end violence against women.

UNiTE leads the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which aims to raise public awareness and mobilize people everywhere to bring about change. Those 16 days start from today, 25th November to 10th December, which is Human Rights Day.

The theme of the campaign for 2017 is “Leave no one behind: end violence against women and girls.”

We all need to be committed to a world free from violence for all women and girls around the world, including the underserved and marginalized, refugees, migrants, minorities, indigenous peoples, and populations affected by conflict and natural disasters, amongst others.

The UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign invites you to “Orange the world”, using the colour designated by the campaign to symbolize a brighter future without violence. Organize events on streets, schools and landmarks!

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