International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
The world commemorates on this day, every year, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the launching of 16 days campaign under the theme “Leave no one behind; end violence against women and girls”.
Emphasising that life free from violence is a basic human right guaranteed by various provisions, declarations and international conventions, The Geneva Institute for Human Rights (GIHR), confirms on this occasion its deep commitment to end violence against women.
GIHR also appreciates international efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls, particularly efforts exerted by the UN and organizations concerned with women’s rights within the context of commitment to end violence that threats women on daily basis in areas that are plagued by war and internal armed conflicts ravages, domestic and community violence, sometimes due to inherited social norms.
It must be noted that one of the worst forms of human oppression in the twenty-first century comes from the consequences of cross-migration. Many African migrants making the Mediterranean sea crossing, specifically women, are exposed to gross violations in the quest for a better life. Due to multitude of unsafe and illegal pathways, as well as weak protection for unaccompanied children and sexual and gender-based violence survivors, the rate of perpetrators of crimes against said migrants have continued to increase.
Mr. António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, mentioned in his statement on the International Day for the elimination of violence against women, that “It is time to further our collective action to end violence against women and girls for good. That takes all of us working together in our own countries, regions, and communities, at the same time, towards the same goal." UN figures have indicated an increase in violence against women and girls. Statistics show that more than 1 in 3 women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lives; 750 million women were married before age 18, and more than 250 million have undergone Female Genital Mutilation. Furthermore, statistics highlight that women’s rights activists are being targeted at alarming levels, and violence against women politicians impedes progress on women’s civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights.
“It is now widely recognized that violence against women, including harassment and harmful practices, are major barriers to the fulfillment of human rights, and a direct challenge to women’s inclusion and participation in sustaining peace. Without tackling it, we will never fulfill the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."
GIHR stresses that women have special needs as a result of being the most vulnerable group in the community. Women are normally prone to war indiscriminate wars, and pay the social consequences at certain communities, when losing husbands in war, and incurred with an additional burden, including family care.
We at GIHR would like to take this opportunity to highlight the national legislatures of many countries that violate human rights and that are inconsistent with the international treaties that said countries have ratified.
In addition, GIHR would like to bring attention to lack of laws concerned with eliminating violence against women. Noting the escalating domestic violence cases as well as community violence, as seen through means of intimidation and verbal abuses, taking place in the working environment, and educational and public institutions, and highlighting women exclusion from academic, social, economic and political participation, a call for action and solidarity remains necessary to achieving a world free of gender-based violence.
We, at GIHR, reaffirm our pledge to work towards raising human rights awareness in general, and with women’s issues in particular, through training and building the capacities of government institutions, national institutions and NGOs, in addition through our participation at different international reaffirm campaigns, to aid in laying down the foundation for a world free from violence and conflict.