International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.


Today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Violence against women is a global pandemic. Whether at home, on the streets or during war, violence against women takes place in public and private places.

Did you Know?
One in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner.

There are three forms of violence:

Are you aware…

·        In 2012, 1 in 2 women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family.

·        Only 1 out of 20 of all men killed were killed in such circumstances.

·        Two thirds of all countries have outlawed domestic violence.

·        Only 52 countries have explicitly criminalised rape within marriage.

·        2.6 billion women and girls live in countries where marital rape is not a criminal offence

In some countries up to one third of adolescent girls report their first sexual experience as being forced. In the European Union 45-55% of women have experienced sexual harassment since the age of 15.

Human Trafficking:
is the acquisition and exploitation of people, through means such as force, fraud or deception. The practice ensnares millions of women and girls into modern day slavery, many of whom are sexually exploited. 4.5 million people are victims of forced sexual exploitation. 98% of them are women and girls.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
FGM includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Beyond extreme physical and psychological pain, the practice carries many health risks, including death. 133 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the practice is more common. The chances that a girl will be cut today is approximately one third lower than it was 30 years ago.

Child Marriage:
700 million women alive today were married before 18 and more than one third were married before 15. Poor girls are 2.5 times more likely to marry in childhood than wealthy ones. The impact of child marriage usually means an end to girl’s education, vocation and her right to make life choices. Research confirms that girls who marry in childhood are at greater risk for intimate partner violence than girls of the same age who marry later.

If you were as shocked as we were after reading these horrific statistics collectively we can ignite change. As parents we can begin by educating our sons and daughters through providing them with the necessary, healthy role modelling in our homes and communities, as children learn their behaviours from observations and experiences throughout their daily surroundings.

Statistics: Global and regional estimates of violence against women, WHO, 2013; Global Study on Homicide, UNODC, 2013; Progress of the world’s women, UN Women, 2011-2112; World report on violence and health, WHO, 2002; ILO Global Estimate of Forced Labour, ILO, 2012; United Nations Children’s Fund, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: What might the future hold?, UNICEF, 2014.

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