International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Image: United Nations

In the UK two women a week are killed by a current or former partner.

400,000 women each year are sexually assaulted in Britain, and 80,000 are raped.

One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, and the Guardian yesterday reported that domestic violence accounts for 10 per cent of all emergency calls.

The UK government estimates that up to 24,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM).

And all that’s just in the UK. Worldwide, the UN estimates that up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime.

Rape as a weapon of war affects millions of women, including more than 200,000 since armed conflict began in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and between 250,000 and 500,000 during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Between 500,000 and 2 million people are trafficked each year, of whom 80 per cent are women and girls.

According to the World Bank, women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than cancer, car accidents, war and malaria.

It is no exaggeration to describe violence against women as endemic across all countries and cultures. It must stop.

“Millions of women and girls around the world are assaulted, beaten, raped, mutilated or even murdered in what constitutes appalling violations of their human rights. […] We must fundamentally challenge the culture of discrimination that allows violence to continue. On this International Day, I call on all governments to make good on their pledges to end all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world, and I urge all people to support this important goal.”

– UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his message for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November 2012.

3 thoughts on “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Leave a Reply