❌ Because women are most likely to be murdered in their own home.
❌ Because every day, 137 women are killed by a member of their family worldwide.
— UN Women (@UN_Women) November 24, 2021
In both rich and poor countries alike, gender prejudice has fuelled acts of violence towards women and girls.
The top UN Women official explained that this type of violence “often goes unreported, silenced by stigma, shame, fear of the perpetrators and fear of a justice system that does not work for women”.
Moreover, COVID-19 has triggered a shadow pandemic, which enables unseen violence. She cited an increase in reports on helplines for violence against women and girls (VAWG) in all corners of the world.
Hope on the horizon
Despite this, Ms. Bahous said that there is hope and new opportunities are opening.
Last summer, as part of a $40 billion commitment to the women and girls of the world, the Generation Equality Forum launched the Action Coalition on Gender-based Violence to spark collective action, drive investment and deliver concrete results.
“There will be concrete financial and policy commitments, and scaled-up initiatives in critical areas: survivor support services, legal frameworks and more resources for grass-roots organizations”, the UN Women chief assured.
‘Change is possible’
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, said that “violence against women is not inevitable”.
“The right policies and programmes bring results”, including long-term strategies that tackle the root causes of violence, protecting the rights of women and girls, and promoting strong and autonomous women’s rights movements.
The UN has built this model through its partnership with the European Union in the Spotlight Initiative.
Partner countries last year witnessed a 22 per cent increase in prosecution of perpetrators; 84 laws and policies were passed or strengthened; and more than 650,000 women and girls were able to access GBV services – despite pandemic-related restrictions.
“Change is possible, and now is the time to redouble our efforts so that together, we can eliminate violence against women and girls by 2030”, he said.
GBV knows no boundaries
General Assembly President, Abdulla Shahid, said that one characteristic of gender-based violence is that it knows no social or economic boundaries and affects women and girls of all socio-economic backgrounds.
“This issue needs to be addressed in both developing and developed countries”, he argued.