ODVV Statement on the International Day for the...
Violence against women and girls is one of the most common and destructive human rights violations in today’s world which has been occurring since time immemorial. The violence often includes humiliation of women, their silence and impunity of the offenders.. This type of violence is an obstacle for promotion of equality, justice, development, peace and human rights.
Violence against women occurs in different ages and places and has various physical, sexual and mental forms including assault and battery, emotional abuse, rape, child abuse, forced marriage, cyber bullying, human trafficking, slavery and sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation and child marriage. Some groups, including migrants and refugees, the elderly or small children, minorities and people with disabilities are vulnerable and experience more violence.
In countries where gender gap among men and women is wider, violence against women is widespread. What seems more effective than adopting conventions and international documents is empowerment of women and raising awareness on violence against them as well as educating various sectors of society such as legislators on the issue. There is a long way to go and approximately one third of the countries of the world (49 countries) do not protect women from violence and abuse in their laws. According to World Health Organization more than 35 percent of women in the world have experienced physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime.
This year’s UN theme “Orange the World: #HearMeToo”, calls for a global and united effort to end violence against women. The commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women like previous years runs from 25 November till 10 December and shows the direct and important link between women’s rights and human rights.
As an international nongovernmental organization active in human rights and the rights of victims of violence the ODVV believes gender discrimination and existing norms in cultures that accept gender based violence are some of the important roots of violence against women, therefore while commemorating this international day, ODVV invites all national and international organizations that include UN bodies, governments, civil society, schools and universities, the private sector, religious leaders, sports organizations and individuals to utilize their executive and technical capacities to promote women’s rights.
In a world were human rights is blatantly violated by force, the only way for human rights defenders and advocates is persistence on human rights principles and values. We believe that a world free of violence is a more beautiful world for all Mankind.