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violence against women

The United Nations Secretary General’s Campaign to End Violence Against Women runs from November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to Human Rights Day on December 10th.

The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of gender based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private.”

Statistics on Violence Against Women and Girls:

UNICEF : almost 70 million girls aged 15-19 worldwide report being victims of some form of physical violence since age 15. Around 120 million girls under the age of 20 (about 1 in 10) have been subjected to forced sexual intercourse or other forced sexual acts. 1 in 3 adolescent girls aged 15-to 19 (84 million) have been victims of any emotional, physical or sexual violence committed by their husbands or partners.

UN Women: 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and /or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. Some national studies show that the number is up to 70%. (In New Deli, 92% of women reported some form of sexual violence in public places). Worldwide 250 million girls were married by the age of 15.An estimated 133 million women and girls have experienced some form of genital mutilation.

WHO (World Health Organization): Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner.

Violence Against Women, An EU-wide survey: 28 member countries were part of this survey which mirrored UN statistics wide. Between 15 and 76 percent of women are targeted for physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime, according to the available country data.

There are two aspects of violence against women which need some highlighting.
 Cyber-bulling has become commonplace in our hi-tech communication world. Suicides have been the outcome of this psychological violence against girls and women.
 Religious radicalism in any form can subjugate, oppress and violate a woman’s human rights when physical and physiological violence occur.

Please reflect on the information provided; consider Affiliate action now during the16 days of Activism against Gender based Violence and in the coming year. Share information with your members, and report your communities’ activities to our Status of Women Committee.

What can we do?
 Sign up your Affiliate to Stop The Traffik, Walk Free and Collective Shout and any other local groups involved in working for women and girls
 Encourage your Affiliate to use only Fair Trade goods at any functions
 Check the supply chain of any clothes you buy particularly cotton.
 Check out http://ow.lyRoYOA to learn about Change Everything to Orange for 16 days.

By Penelope Conway, Chair, Status of Women, and Marni Besser, Vice-Chair, Status of Women