UN: UN launches 16 days of activism to fight gender-based violence

New York, US (PANA) - The UN, through its gender promotion agency, the UN Women, launched 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, which aims at generating funds to end violence against women and girls globally.

PANA in New York reports that the campaign, tagged: "Orange the World", will officially begin on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and end on 10 December, the UN Human Rights Day.

Speaking at the launching at the UN headquarters in New York, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, lamented that violence against women and girls continue to be a low priority on the international development agenda and urged more action and more funding to end the pandemic of such violence now, once and for all.

"The statistics almost defy belief. What is even harder to understand is why: why men prey on women and girls; why societies shame the victims, why governments fail to punish deadly crimes, why the world denies itself the fruits of women’s full participation," the UN chief stated.

Ban, who is observing the Day for the last time as UN Secretary-General, thanked the audience for being a part of a decade of global activism to end violence against women and girls, saying: "You have defended the vulnerable and fought impunity. The United Nations and I, personally, have stood with you."

He noted that "this is truly a matter of life and death. In some countries, as many as 70 per cent of women report having experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner, and in other countries, intimate partner violence accounts for between 40 and 70 per cent of female murder victims."

He also reminisced about his conversations with girls and women at the HEAL Africa hospital in Goma and meeting with "one of the world’s great advocates Malala Yusafzai."

"Some of the most impactful and inspiring moments of my entire term as UN Secretary-General occurred in the context of our struggle for women’s empowerment," the UN chief added.

Also speaking, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said: "The extent to which violence is embedded in society means that uprooting it is also a job for all of society. That includes men and women, the media and the religious community."

"We can work together to address the inequality and prejudice that enable and enflame violence against women and girls," Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka told an audience that wore orange in support of ending violence against women.

She thanked the UN chief for his advocacy and leadership, emphasizing that violence against women was not always discussed in the public domain, and stressed the need for improvements to laws and implementation by governments.

She said that, "while there are costs to such changes, the price of no change is much higher, and unacceptable."

The UN official also highlighted examples of recent improvements from Timor-Leste and Uganda and encouraged society to work together to address inequality and prejudice by scaling up prevention and services as well as working with allies throughout different sectors and civil society.

"Together, we can begin to bend the curve down and bring the scourge of violence against women and girls to an end," she added.

PANA reports that the event featured a musical performance by US musical group, The Color Purple, and a panel discussion on sustainable financing to end violence against women and girls.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 22Nov2016

22 november 2016 15:32:37

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