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Violence against women is not inevitable: UN Chief António Guterres

UN Women ED Sima Bahous calls violence against women a global crisis that thrives on crises like conflict, calamities, food insecurity and human rights violations

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António Guterres

This International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25), United Nations has chosen orange colour as the theme to represent a brighter future free of violence for women and girls. To commemorate the day, UN Women has launched 16 days of activism till 10 December 2021, the International Human Rights Day. Several public events are being coordinated and iconic buildings and landmarks will be ‘oranged’ to recall the need for a violence-free future.

In his message on the day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, “Violence in any part of society affects us all. From the scars on the next generation to the weakening of the social fabric.”

The UN Chief insisted that observing the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women campaign has become more important in pandemics, conflicts and climate disasters. A new report from UN Women, based on data from 13 countries since the pandemic, shows that two in three women reported that they or a woman they know experienced some form of violence and are more likely to face food insecurity. Only one in 10 women said that victims would go to the police for help.

“Violence against women is an existing global crisis that thrives on other crises. Conflict, climate-related natural disasters, food insecurity and human rights violations all contribute to women and girls living with a sense of danger, even in their own homes, neighbourhoods, or communities,” said UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous. She added that stopping this violence starts with believing survivors, adopting comprehensive and inclusive approaches that tackle the root causes, transform harmful social norms, and empower women and girls. With survivor-centred essential services across policing, justice, health, and social sectors, and sufficient financing for the women’s rights agenda, we can end gender-based violence.

 

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women will mark the launch of the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign (25 November-December 10). The campaign also includes the launch of a new report with updated data on gender violence, as well as a multitude of digital initiatives in which you can participate.

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