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International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

The human rights of women and also of girls that are violated on a constant basis globally are devastating. Day-by-day, the number, and severity of violence against women and girls (VAWG) continue to escalate. And this is only a few incidences of reported cases. Besides, many of such violations are unreported due to the stigma and shame that comes with the experience. That is why we support the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

This violence can be physical, sexual and also psychological and involve the public or private life of the woman. Examples include physical beating, mental abuse, femicide, and marital rape. It can also come as sexual exploitation and violence, sexual harassment, child sexual abuse and child marriage; forced marriage, human trafficking, and genital mutilation.

The background of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

The rise of these threats to the right of a woman elicited a response from the UN General Assembly in 1993 through the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The declaration is a laudable step. Yes, because gender equality is critical for global development. Violence against women constitutes the most significant roadblock to achieving equality, sustainable global development, and peace.

Why is today important?

The growing nature of this violence needs urgent attention. That is why the international day for the elimination of violence against women is very significant. It is a day to raise awareness and promote strategies that eliminate violence against women.

The statistics of violence against women

  1. According to UN statistics among the number of women killed through homicide all over the world in 2012, nearly half come from family members, spouses, marriage or sexual partners.
  2. Violence against women has a social effect and according to statistics men whose father lived an abusive life against their mother replicate the same with their intimate partner as adults.
  3. While fifty-one percent of victims of human trafficking are adult women, women and girls make up seventy-one percent of trafficked victims. And girls make up three out of every four trafficked child victims. Sadly, 75 percent of women and girls trafficking occur for sexual exploitation.
  4. A more significant percentage of violence against women comes from their intimate partner. The global estimate by the WHO shows that 30 to 35 % of women in a relationship, experience partner violence in their lifetime.
  5. Six hundred and fifty million women and girls globally suffered from either forced marriage or child marriage. These women had had to cope with early pregnancy, social seclusion, and school dropouts. They face the highest risk of domestic violence and seldom attain their full potential.

More facts of violence against women

  1. Lager percentage of two-hundred million women and girls from 30 countries suffered from female genital mutilation before the age of five.
  2. Over eighty percent of women from thirty-nine countries who are members of parliament in research organized by the Inter-parliamentary Union experienced psychological violence.
  3. An Australian national survey found that thirty-nine percent of women workforce 15 years and above have experienced workplace sexual assault during the last five years.
  4. Roughly fifteen million teenage girls between the age of 15 and 19 globally have experienced coerced sex or other sexual advances at a certain point in their life
  5. In 2015, among female students surveyed from 27 Universities in the US, roughly twenty-three percent of them had suffered from sexual violence or sexual harassment

We support campaigns and movements that uphold the right of women and strive to end violence against women. We want to unite with women globally to lead the change!

Lets put a smile on faces around the world

How can we eliminate violence against women?

Although we are already in a precarious situation; we are not without hope. There are things we can do to end violence against women. Some useful strategies include:

  1. Advocacy: Counseling and outreach by Health workers in high-income countries. While in low-income countries, the focus should be on economic empowerment of women through microfinancing and skills acquisition.
  2. Policymaking: Nations government need to enact policies, enforce laws, develop and implement strategies.
  3. Treaties: Formation and strengthening of regional and international agreements.
  4. Enforcement of laws: Countries not only need to adopt regulations, but they must enforce these laws to punish offenders.
  5. Prevention Education: Non-formal education to create awareness among young people like the curriculum developed by UN Women, in collaboration with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS.)

The #MeToo Movement

The fight for women’s rights has taken center stage recently through the #MeToo Movement, a social media movement for voiceless women and girls who have survived violence. The campaign also aims to provide support to survivors and work to end violence against women. The term originated from an African-American civil rights activist. However, the use of this term escalated into a more extensive movement, after using the #MeToo as a hashtag in the social media for a case in 2017.

Celebrating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

The United Nations set up 16 days of activism from the 19th of November, 2018 to create global awareness and also lead the change to end Violence against Women. The original initiative began in 1991 from Women’s Global Leadership Institute. The day set aside as the international day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is November 25th.

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