UN Women has called for robust and decisive action in response to the prevailing culture of impunity that threatens progress achieved on gender equality and ending violence against women and girls.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, violence against women was one of the most widespread violations of human rights, with almost 18 percent of women and girls experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner over a 12-month period.

The United Nations, on 25 November every year, specially raises awareness about all forms of violence against women.

In line with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign runs from 25 November to 10 December.

‘We have seen the whole world respond to the [Covid-19] pandemic, with all hands on deck, and with responsive investment and protocols backed by determination’, UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said.

‘Violence against women is also a pandemic – one that pre-dates the virus and will outlive it. As we face 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’.

Addressing the pervasive under-resourcing of this critical issue, 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.

The 16 Days of Activism, which is powered by grassroots organisations globally, is an opportunity to leverage the renewed sense of urgency Covid-19 has created and propel concrete action against gender-based violence.

‘Together, we must tackle male violence that affects and damages everyone – families and communities, societies and economies – and holds back all our efforts for peace and security, human rights and sustainable development’, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.

‘We need to increase accountability and question attitudes and approaches that enable violence. And we must provide resources for women’s civil society organisations on the front lines’.

Source: Relief Web

Photo source: UN Women

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