United Nations, November 25 2015
Speaking at a commemorative event at United Nations Headquarters, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said that ending violence against women and girls is a top priority for achieving the UN’s founding mission of peace, development and human rights.
Today marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the launch of UN Women’s civil society-driven 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign which will last until Human Rights Day on 10 December.
The Secretary-General stressed,
“This year I am especially concerned about the impact of violent extremism on women and girls. We know the problems facing women. I want to show how women themselves hold the key to solutions. We have seen outrageous attacks. The shooting of Malala and her school friends, the kidnapping of the Chibok girls, the terror inflicted on women – especially minorities – in Syria, Iraq and many other places. All violent crimes against women must be punished.”
“Women and girls also suffer other gender-specific abuses from terrorist groups and security services. Women, especially young women, may fall prey to false promises of violent extremists. These extremists pervert and shame the religious teachings they claim to represent. In some cases, the recruiters – even the attackers – are women. We have to confront this disturbing reality and take decisive action to address it.”
“Women are victims – but much more than that, they are agents of change with potentially enormous influence,” the Secretary-General said.
“Today starts 16 days of activism leading up to Human Rights Day. My UNiTE campaign is lighting up the world in orange to symbolize the brighter future of a world without violence against women and girls. The HeForShe campaign has set the goal of having 1 billion men support gender equality and women’s empowerment.”
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Women Executive Director, emphasized,
“Violence against women and girls is not only one of the most serious human rights violation, it is also one of the most tolerated violations of rights. This year our focus is on preventing gender based violence before it happens. We also focus on sharing lessons learned from all our work together with you. Ending violence against women requires commitment and zero tolerance at the highest levels of leadership. This is one of the important lessons we have learned.”
Source: UNTV, EuropaNewswire