Statement

Message of UNFPA Executive Director for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

24 November 2014
Author: UNFPA

As we commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, let us mobilize for the 16 days of activism from now until Human Rights Day on 10 December. Join the global effort to “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood” as part of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women.

Together, we must continue to make our voices heard.

No matter who you are or where you are, it is time to speak out, to break the silence and to take a stand. We can no longer allow one in three women to be subjected to physical or sexual violence in her lifetime.

It is time to end the gender inequality and the impunity that allow this violence and human suffering to continue on such a widespread scale. Governments have a responsibility to uphold human rights for all, to ensure safety and justice.

From domestic abuse to sexual violence, from cyber-bullying to human trafficking, from early, child and forced marriage to female genital mutilation, it is time to end violence against women and girls in all its forms.

Today, there is no country in the world, not one, where women and girls live free from violence.

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, will continue to stand strong for the right of every woman and girl to live free of violence, coercion and discrimination. We will stand strong for sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality.

UNFPA will continue to support efforts worldwide from husbands’ schools in Niger to the Padara movement in Zimbabwe, to training judges in the Amak community in Nicaragua, to working with community and religious leaders, and engaging men and boys to end violence and discrimination against women and girls.

We are working with UN Women and other partners to develop global standards for essential services for survivors of gender-based violence. These services address psychosocial, legal and housing needs and the devastating health consequences many survivors face, which range from forced and unwanted pregnancies to unsafe and forced abortions to life-long physical injuries and mental trauma.

The impacts on communities and societies at large are far-reaching, and are further magnified in crisis situations.

From Syria to Iraq to South Sudan to the Central African Republic to other nations ravaged by conflict or natural disaster, UNFPA is providing reproductive health services, including maternal health care and family planning. We are working to ensure that the health and safety of women, including safe delivery and safety from violence, are prioritized in humanitarian operations.

The global community is united in its position that ending violence against women must be prioritized in the post-2015 international development agenda.

UNFPA will keep pushing for a world free of violence for all women and girls. We will not stop until this violence is no longer tolerated, consigned to the shameful chapter of history where it belongs.