UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
On this 10th anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we can applaud the fact that the issue of violence against women and girls is no longer treated as simply a woman’s concern. Thanks to the persistent and dedicated efforts by women’s rights activists in all parts of the world, it is now a human rights issue, a peace and security issue, and an issue of urgent concern to both men and women.
Despite these achievements, huge challenges remain. It is shocking that based on available country data, up to 70 percent of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime. It happens everywhere — at home and at work, on the streets and in schools, during peacetime and in conflict.
We still live in a world where violence against women and girls is a major source of insecurity for half the world’s population, from domestic violence to female genital mutilation; from so called honour killings to mass rape in times of war. The gap between the promises and realities on the ground is still too wide and violence against women and girls continues to pose some of the world’s greatest challenges.
In the UK Theresa May has launched a cross government plan today, with a ‘full action plan’ to be published next spring. May has committed to trialing Domestic Violence Protection Orders, a welcome u-turn. We must do all we can to make sure this new ‘action plan’ is fully funded by government.
Thank you to all women’s rights activists everywhere, past present and future.