The United Nations has launched its latest campaign, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. This year also marks the 15 year anniversary of the United Nations Trust Fund to End violence. The United Nations reports that up to 70% of women and girls will be beaten, coerced into sex or abused in their lifetime.
Other statistics provided by the UN show that:
- Rape and domestic violence are a higher risk for women aged 15 to 44 than cancer, traffic accidents or malaria.
- Violence against women has become a weapon of war. In Rwanda, up to half a million women were raped during the 1994 genocide.
- 140 million women and girls alive today have undergone female genital mutilation.
- It is estimated that 5,000 women are victims of so-called “honour killings” every year.
- The economic costs of violence against women are considerable. In the United States, the costs of medical care and productivity loss due to intimate partner violence exceed US$5.8 billion per year.
The UN is encouraging people to take action against gender violence, such as by:
- Finding out what’s happening in your city or country
- Starting a profile page on your actions and motivating other people to get involved
- Entering the UN’s design competition and creating an ad that says No Violence against Women
Read more about gender violence on the UN website and get involved, even if it’s simply to sign up to their email list. Alternatively, take two minutes to watch this video, where Eva-Britt Svensson, Swedish politician and former Member of the European Parliament, talks about her experiences with domestic violence. She reflects on how she took action to reclaim her personal safety and how she recovered from the cycle of violence.