(Eagle News) – “Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime,” according to the United Nations as it marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Thursday, November 25.
In fact, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report from the UN Women, cited data from 13 countries that 2 in 3 women reported that they or a woman they know experienced some form of violence.”
“Only 1 in 10 women said that victims would go to the police for help,” it said.
“And almost a quarter reported more frequent household conflicts with a similar proportion saying they felt less safe at home,” the UN report said.
This year, the United Nations launched the UNiTE campaign and set “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!” as the official theme of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls
“In times of crises, the numbers rise, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts and climate disasters,” the UN said in a statement on Thursday.
-Violence against women, “an abhorrent crime” says UN chief-
UN Secretary General António Guterres said “violence against women and girls continues to be the most pervasive and pressing human rights issue in the world today.”
“It is both an abhorrent crime and a public health emergency, with far-reaching consequences for millions of women and girls in every corner of the globe,” he said on Thursday, Nov. 25, to mark the occasion.
He noted how the latest figures from UN Women confirm that during the COVID-19 pandemic, levels of violence against women and girls have increased.
Across 13 countries, almost half of all women reported that they or a woman they know began to experience gender-based violence during the pandemic, he said.
“Almost a quarter of women reported that household conflicts had become more frequent. A similar proportion said they felt less safe at home,” the UN chief noted.
Guterres said that “violence in any part of society affects us all — trom the scars on the next generation to the weakening of the social fabric.”
But he also stressed that “violence against women is not inevitable.”
“The right policies and programmes bring results,” he said.
The UN chief said that there is a need for “comprehensive, long-term strategies that tackle the root causes of violence, protect the rights of women and girls, and promote strong and autonomous women’s rights movements.”
On November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the United Nations launched the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign (Nov 25- Dec 10). It is an initiative of 16 days of activism concluding on the day that commemorates the International Human Rights Day (10 December).
“This campaign, led by the UN Secretary-General and UN Women since 2008, aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world, calling for global action to increase awareness, promote advocacy and create opportunities for discussion on challenges and solutions,” UN said in a statement.
The World Health Organization (WHO) noted that “most women who are subjected to violence do not explicitly disclose their experiences.”
“The health system is a critical entry point to identify survivors, provide first line support, and, if needed, referrals,” it said in a statement issued on Thursday.
Guterres said that last year, in 2020, they saw a 22 percent increase in prosecution of perpetrators in partner countries.
“Eighty-four laws and policies were passed or strengthened. And more than 650,000 women and girls were able to access gender-based violence services, despite restrictions related to the pandemic,” he said.
Guterres said that “now is the time to redouble our efforts so that together, we can eliminate violence against women and girls by 2030.”
(Eagle News Service)