UN Launches Initiative to highlight commitments to end violence against women & girls

UN women head of violence agai

The United Nations agency tasked with advancing gender equality have announced a new initiative that will spotlight countries’ commitments to end violence against women and girls, seeking bold action and leadership to galvanize efforts to end the pandemic.

“We all must do better to protect women and prevent this pervasive human rights violation,” said the Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equity and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), Michelle Bachelet.  According to UN Women, currently there are 125 countries which have laws that penalise domestic violence.  However, up to seven out of ten women around the world continue to be targeted for either physical or sexual violence, sometimes both, in their lifetime.

Tragically over 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is still not a crime.  The new initiative, COMMIT, asks governments to make national commitments that will be showcased globally, encouraging countries to come up with new policies to protect victims.

“We hope to see new and improved laws and national action plans that provide for safe houses', said Ms Bachelet. "Free hotline services and free health and legal aid to survivors,” We count on education programmes that teach human rights, equality and mutual respect and inspire young people to take leadership on ending violence against women and girls.  We need increasing numbers of women in politics, law enforcement and peacekeeping forces and we need equal economic opportunities and decent jobs for women", emphasised Bachelet.

Expectations are high that governments will agree on a framework to tackle violence against women and girls in March 2013's session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which is the focus on next year's meeting at UN Headquarters in New York. 

The Annuncement of the COMMIT initiative comes days before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which fell on November 26th this year.




Ingrid Stellmacher, 24/11/2012