The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women was started by The United Nations General Assembly in 1993. The day is observed on November 25 and raises public awareness about violence against women.
The facts about violence against women
According to UN Women, violence against women manifests itself in physical, sexual, and psychological forms, including:
- Intimate partner violence/domestic violence – globally, as many as 26% of women have been subjected to intimate partner violence.
- Sexual violence and harassment – one in three women experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.
- Human trafficking – 71% of human trafficking victims are female, of this three out of four are sexually exploited.
- Female mutilation – 200 million females alive today have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM).
- Child marriage – one in five girls under 18 are married to an adult or another child.
What can we do to stop it?
To date, efforts to eliminate gender-based violence are focused on responding to, and supporting victims. However, evidence has shown that working to prevent violence against women is key. Gender-based violence is a symptom of wider societal issues. Therefore, efforts that address the root causes are the only way to defeat the problem completely. This requires political dedication, implementing policies and programs that promote gender equality, encouraging women’s economic involvement and independence, investing in women’s organizations, and addressing the many forms of gender inequality that women continually face.
Additional challenges during Covid-19
As governments in many countries have requested isolation to reduce the spread of coronavirus, violence against women has increased – especially domestic violence. This has stretched essential services such as helplines and shelters beyond capacity. More needs to be done to prioritize addressing the domestic violence crisis during Covid-19.
What are we doing?
Women from all backgrounds can face gender-based violence. However, some women and children are especially vulnerable. This includes migrants and refugees, minority groups, and those living in poverty.
We are currently working to end violence against women and children in the Chiang Khong district, Northern Thailand. Social Empowerment for Gender Equality is our latest project and is designed to solve the issue by strengthening gender equality in the region.
A message from our founder and director
– Kristen Rive-Thomson