UN Women is calling on the world to put an end to violence against women, as it is a raging pandemic that pre- dates the Corona virus, and will surely outlive it.
UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, stated this in a press release to mark the International day for the elimination of violence against women.
According to her, before COVID-19, violence against women was one of the most widespread violations of human rights.
” With almost 18 per cent of women and girls experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner over a 12-month period. Projections show that for every three months, the lockdown continues, an additional 15 million women are expected to be affected by violence.”
“As the pandemic raged on, an alarming upsurge of the “shadow pandemic” of violence against women became evident, with increased rates of reporting on domestic violence, as well as in the streets, online and in a variety of settings. Calls to help lines increased, up to five-fold in some countries during the first weeks of the Corona virus outbreak, while in others, they decreased given the inability of women to seek help through the regular channels, while sheltered in place with their perpetrators.”
The Executive Director also noted that as the world is facing COVID-19’s devastation, there has never been a more important moment to resolve to put our combined resources and commitment behind the biggest issues, and to end violence against women and girls, for good.
“We are calling for robust and decisive action in response to this unprecedented crisis on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In the run up to the 2021 Generation Equality Forum, where global actors will step up to make bold new commitments to eradicate violence against women, governments, civil society, youth, influencers and the private sector will lend their voices for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, a global mobilization campaign that runs from today until 10 December”.
UN Women has convened the Action Coalition on Gender-based Violence, an innovative partnership of governments, civil society, youth leaders, private sector and philanthropies to develop a bold agenda of catalytic actions and leverage funding to eradicate violence against women.
“These bold actions and investments will be announced at the Generation Equality Forum in 2021, in Mexico and France, along with those of other five Generation Equality Action Coalitions”.
The 16 Days of Activism, which is powered by grassroots organizations globally, is an opportunity to leverage the renewed sense of urgency COVID-19 has created and propel concrete action against gender-based violence.
In the lead up to the International Day commemoration, UN Women has appealed to Member States to make concrete, tangible commitments during the 16 Days of Activism.
This year’s theme, “Orange the World: Fund, Prevent, Respond, Collect!”, announced by the UNiTE campaign, bolsters the UN Secretary-General’s appeal and UN system-wide rapid response to the alarming surge in violence against women and girls seen this year.