Stop violence against women

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Women hold up placards and shout slogans during a rally against violence to women, on November 17, 2014

Local events in Rye, Hastings and other nearby towns, as well as national press and broadcasting coverage, have highlighted the issue of violence against women, which has a long history of slow progress.

Sunday, November 25 was an international day, a commemoration day of an adoption of the Convention of the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. And yet it is still pervasive across the world.

It was on February 7, 2000 that the General Assembly adopted to officially designate November 25 as the international day for the elimination of violence against women (EVAW) and so inviting all agencies including governments and NGOs to join together and organise activities designed to raise public awareness of this issue.

Another resolution, 48/104 in 2008, was a bold initiative, known as UNITE, to end violence against women and raise public awareness world wide, yet it continues. In 2017 the European Union and UN launched a new project to combat the continuity of violence, Spotlight Initiative which aims to do the same as the prior resolutions, eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainability Development. Women activists have observed November 25 as a day against gender-based violence since 1981.

The call for awareness was started in 1960 by three women because three sisters, political activists, were brutally raped and killed in the Dominican Republic by order of the country’s ruler Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).

At the Melbourne University, Maeve, Melbourne Research Alliance did some research into violence against women and also wanted to look into violence against men and came up with some interesting data, concluding that there are different patterns concerning violence against each gender. “Of course all violence is unacceptable, has serious consequences and need to be addressed,” the Alliance said.

However, the fact remains that: “The primary targets of GBV [gender-based violence] are women and adolescent girls, but not only are they at high risk of GBV, they also suffer exacerbated consequences compared with what men endure. As a result of gender discrimination and their lower socio-economic status, women have fewer options and fewer resources at their disposal to avoid or escape abusive situations and to see justice. They also suffer consequences (on their sexual and reproductive health) including forced and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and resulting deaths, traumatic fistula and higher risks of sexually transmitted infections.” (UNFPA Strategy and Framework for Action to Addressing GBV 2008-2011.

Research Information from http://.un.org/en

Image Credits: Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Gallery.

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