UN Women celebrates people working to defend women’s human rights

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Violence Women
Violence Women

Ms Sima Bahous, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women, has commended those working to protect women, and girls as well as defend their human rights.

In a statement to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, 2021, and to kick-start the 16 Days of activism – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

“As we mark these occasions we welcome new partners — governments, organizations, institutions, community groups, people everywhere — to join us, raise your voices and work together to transform lives, not only during the 16 Days of Activism, but every day,” the UN Women statement made available to the Ghana News Agency in Tema stated.

“Today, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence also opens some exciting hopes, it begins the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, with a series of events aimed at creating real change.

“For 2021, the theme is, “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now! “Orange” symbolizes a brighter future, free of violence.

“Women’s groups and concerned people everywhere have been vital to the progress that has been made. Going forward, together, we can make life better and brighter for many more girls and women across the world,” she said.

Ms Bahous noted that violence against women is a global crisis, “in all of our neighbourhoods, women and girls are living in danger, around the world, conflict, climate-related natural disasters, food insecurity and human rights violations are exacerbating violence against women.

“More than 70 per cent of women have experienced gender-based violence in some crisis settings and countries, both rich and poor, gender prejudice has fuelled acts of violence toward women and girls”.

The UN Women Executive Director said violence against women often goes unreported, silenced by stigma, shame, fear of the perpetrators, and fear of a justice system that does not work for women.

She noted that the COVID-19 pandemic, with all its isolation and distancing, has enabled unseen violence: a second, shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls, where they often found themselves in lockdown with their abusers.

“In all corners of the world, helplines for violence against women saw an increase in reports. The human rights of women, including the right to security, dignity, equality, and justice are core principles of international law.

“And we know that the leadership and safety of women, in all their diversity, plays a vital role in economic progress, community welfare, children’s health, and education, and more,” Ms Bahous stated.

She, however, acknowledged that in recent years, much has been achieved to prevent and reduce violence against women and girls, but the challenge now is to expand global efforts and make a difference in more lives.

“We must ensure that essential services are available and accessible to women of all ages. We need to support environments, online and off, in which women can participate safely in decision-making,” the UN Women Executive Director stated.

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