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international day for the elimination of violence against women

The United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign: "UNiTE to End Violence Against Women by 2030" was launched on 25 November 2017. 

REPORT BY JUDY MINTZ, UN REPRESENTATIVE/NY

This year’s commemoration celebrated the UNiTE campaign that raises public awareness
and increases political will and resources for preventing and ending all forms of violence
against women and girls around the world. It calls on governments, civil society, women’s
organizations, men, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system
to join forces in addressing this global pandemic affecting 70% of the world’s women and
girls. 

Orange is the signature campaign color and symbolizes a bright and optimistic future
for women and girls. The current theme of “Leave No One Behind” underscores the need
to “reach the furthest behind first”. The event’s audience, composed of men and women,
young and old, was charged to break the silence and to rise up.

In addition to the Secretary General, the speakers and panelists emphasized these points in
their presentations:

• Women and girls are entitled to a life free from violence, which is a fundamental human
right. Women and girls must have access to justice and services. Victims must be
understood and perpetrators punished.

• There must be zero tolerance of physical and psychological abuses such as early forced
marriage, female genital mutilation, sex trafficking, sexual harassment, rape, and domestic
violence.

• Proven solutions include mechanisms for making a difference such as laws, policies, and
sanctions. There must be punishments and consequences. Everyone has a role to play.

• There needs to be greater gender parity at the UN.

• Attention must be paid to those who are “hidden in plain sight”.

• The plight of women and girls with disabilities and those suffering from Alzheimers' and
dementia was highlighted.

• Some violence and exploitation are based on culture and there’s a need for this to change
especially in patriarchal societies. There must be a definition of what is and what is not
acceptable. There must be a shift in the narrative. Many men have been permitted to inflict
damage for too long.

• Implementation of UN Resolution 1325 must be encouraged and part of the “cure”.

This is the right time for change but there is also a long way to go!

Additional Campaigns:
#Orange the World
“Leave No One Behind: End Violence Against Women and Girls”
16 Days of Activism
UN WOMEN: Planet 50-50 by 2030, Step it Up for Gender Equality
#Me Too