Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma, and shame surrounding it.
To raise awareness about violence against women and girls, end violence against women. It also seeks to show that prevention is possible against the violence of women.
Theme and its significance: “Orange the World: #HearMeToo”. It aims to reinforce UNiTE Campaign’s commitment to creating a world free from violence for all women and girls and reaching out to most marginalized people including migrants, refugees, indigenous peoples, minorities and populations affected by natural disasters and conflicts.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in December 1999.
This day is commemorated in memory of Mirabal sisters who were three political activists from the Dominican Republic. They were brutally assassinated during the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship (1930-1961) in 1960.
Why we must eliminate violence against women?
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today, remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma, and shame surrounding it.
In general terms, it manifests itself in physical, sexual and psychological forms, encompassing:
- Intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide).
- Sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment).
- Human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation).
- Female genital mutilation.
- Child marriage.
The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner.
Only 52% of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use, and health care.
Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday; while 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM).
1 in 2 women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family in 2012; while only 1 out of 20 men were killed under similar circumstances.
71% of all human trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls, and 3 out of 4 of these women and girls are sexually exploited.
Violence against women is as serious a cause of death and incapacity among women of reproductive age as cancer, and a greater cause of ill health than traffic accidents and malaria combined.