Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. In some countries, up to 7 in 10 women will be beaten, raped, abused or mutilated in their lifetimes. To raise awareness and trigger action to end this global phenomenon, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), and the ensuing 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence are commemorated every year around the world.
Ending violence against women is one of UN Women’s priority areas. UN Women also coordinates the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign and supports widespread social mobilization through its Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women platform. In addition, UN Women manages the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women which commemorates its 16th anniversary in 2012.
Last year for 25 November, UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet unveiled a 16-Step Policy Agenda. This year, UN Women launches “COMMIT” – a new global initiative which calls on leaders worldwide to fulfill their promise and take a stand to end violence against women and girls. It will showcase concrete national commitments to ending the scourge of such violence.
Ending violence against women will be the main theme of the forthcoming 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, to take place from 4-15 March 2013 in New York. The international gathering where countries report on their country’s progress on women’s rights and gender equality will focus on prevention and multi-sectoral responses to violence against women and girls.
Statements and speeches
- Remarks by Michelle Bachelet on the occasion of the Official Commemoration of the International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women
- Media Advisory: Official Commemoration of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
- Press release: UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet launches new initiative to spotlight national commitments to end violence against women
A Promise is A Promise
“A Promise is A Promise” is the official video of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women. It is being launched today, 28 November 2012, during the UN’s official commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which was celebrated around the world on Sunday, 25 November.
Message by Michelle Bachelet for International Day to End Violence against Women
UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet calls on all heads of state and government to make new commitments and take strong national action to protect women and girls. The world community has already come a long along way with national laws, international treaties, and widespread and growing awareness on ending violence against women. But it is not enough. Government promises must be translated into concrete actions, such as providing new safe houses, free hotline services, and free legal and medical aid to survivors. The time for complacency has run out. Together, it is possible to stop the violence against women against women and girls.
In South Africa – a country often referred to as the murder and rape capital of the world – one group of women are especially at risk. Despite some of the most progressive laws in the world to protect them, lesbians are increasingly the targets of a particularly heinous crime: “curative” or “corrective” rape—which perpetrators believe will change their sexual orientation. We travel to South Africa to meet several young survivors, who are speaking out to confront sexual violence and discrimination.
Cambodia: Reclaiming lives after acid attacks
Acid attacks are a widespread human rights violation most often perpetrated against women. Yet many survivors do not have access to adequate legal, medical and psychological support. With support from the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI) responds to the needs of women and girls affected by acid attacks and implements measures to prevent attacks from happening in the first place and to bring perpetrators to justice. The project serves 2,000 women and their communities in Cambodia, Nepal, and Uganda. (Producer: UN Women; Date of Release: November 2011)
- Take part in the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence and record your action on Say No
- Help promote COMMIT and the 16 Steps Policy Agenda
Engage through social media
- Join the conversation on Twitter [@SayNO_UNiTE and @UN_Women] and Facebook [Say NO – UNiTE and UN Women], and share your thoughts about ending violence against women using the hashtags #SayUcommit and #16Days.
- On 5 December at 9 a.m. (EST), participate in a live #AskUNWomen Twitter chat with UN Women Deputy Executive Director John Hendra on ending gender-based violence.