She pointed out that in all our own communities, there are women and girls living in danger. All over the world, conflicts, climate-related natural disasters, food insecurity and human rights violations are exacerbating violence against women.
According to UN-Women’s data, in some crisis settings, more than 70% of people have experienced gender-based violence.
Whether in rich or poor countries, gender prejudice fuels violence against women and girls.
Barus said that this type of violence “is often not reported because of stigma, shame, fear of perpetrators, and fear of a judicial system that is not friendly to women.”
In addition, the new crown epidemic has triggered another “shadow” pandemic, which makes invisible violence possible. She cited the increase in hotline requests for help on violence against women and girls around the world.
Despite this, Barus emphasized that there is still hope, and the door of new opportunities is opening.
Last summer, as part of a US$40 billion commitment to women and girls around the world, the Equality Generation Forum launched the Gender Violence Action Coalition to stimulate collective action, promote investment, and achieve concrete results.
Barus stated that there will be specific fiscal and policy commitments and will expand initiatives in key areas, including survivor support services, legal frameworks, and providing more resources for grassroots organizations.
Change is possible
UN Secretary-General Guterres stated that “violence against women is not inevitable”.
He stated that “the right policies and programs will bring results,” including long-term strategies to address the root causes of violence, protect the rights of women and girls, and promote a strong and autonomous women’s rights movement.
The United Nations established this model through a partnership with the European Union in the Spotlight Initiative.
Last year, partner countries’ prosecutions against offenders increased by 22%; 84 laws and policies were passed or strengthened; more than 650,000 women and girls were able to access support services based on gender-based violence, despite the restrictions related to the new crown pandemic.
Guterres said: “Change is possible. Now is the time to redouble our efforts so that we can work together to eliminate violence against women and girls by 2030.”
Violence against women and girls knows no boundaries
President Shahid of the UN General Assembly stated that one characteristic of gender-based violence is that it does not distinguish between social or economic boundaries and affects women and girls of all socio-economic backgrounds.
He pointed out that both developing and developed countries need to solve this problem.
Violent incidents abound
According to the latest global estimates, nearly one-third of women aged 15 and over have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from intimate or non-sexual partners or both at least once in their lifetime.
These figures have remained basically unchanged in the past ten years.
However, since the outbreak of the new crown pandemic, new data has shown that all types of violence against women, especially domestic violence, are increasing. The world is not prepared for the rapid escalation of these behaviors.
And this does not include violence that continues in general, including sexual harassment, violence in the online context, harmful practices, and sexual exploitation in different contexts and geographic locations.
Violence during COVID-19
The new report issued by UN-Women pointed out that since the beginning of the epidemic, women’s sense of security has also been declining, which has seriously affected their mental and emotional health.
The report also kicked off the 16-day campaign against gender-based violence. The report shows that in 13 countries, almost half of women said that they or a woman they knew had experienced gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Almost a quarter of people report that family conflicts are more frequent, and a similar proportion said they feel insecure at home.
This year, the “UNiTE” campaign will “The Orange World: End Violence Against Women Now!” as its official theme.