Violence against women is not acceptable and can be prevented

Dec 1, 2013

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is calling for renewed efforts to end violence against women.  

New Horizons - This year, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, it is emphasized that violence against women is a violation of human rights.

Every year, at least two million women and girls are trafficked into prostitution, forced slavery, and servitude.

Up to 60 percent of women experience some form of physical or sexual abuse during their lifetime.

Gender-based violence hurts women, their families and their countries, and it reinforces inequalities between men and women throughout the world.

Marital rape is still not considered a criminal offense in more than 35 countries. More than 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not considered a crime.

“This is not acceptable: better laws and their enforcement are needed,” said Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. 

She called for law enforcement and judicial systems to work together with governments, civil society and international partners to tackle the root causes of violence against women, support victims, and bring perpetrators to justice.

Gender-based discrimination remains the single most widespread driver of inequalities in today’s world.

While the evidence linking gender-based violence and poverty grows, so does a global call to include men's voices in the solution to violence against women.

A recent UN study carried out in the Asia Pacific region found that of the 10,000 men surveyed, nearly half reported using physical and/or sexual violence against a female partner.

Although the study's dire findings reaffirm how widespread the problem remains, it also identified that the majority of factors associated with men's use of violence against women can be changed.

The study recommends that development interventions should address social norms related to the acceptability of violence and dominant gender stereotypes, as well as focusing on ending impunity for perpetrators.

UNDP works with countries around the world on initiatives to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

It reaffirms its commitment to end gender-based violence and calls for increased efforts to tackle specific patterns of violence in development and crisis contexts, working with women’s organizations as well as men and boys.