Marking International Day, UN calls for eliminating violence against women

8 March 2013 – United Nations officials today issued a call to governments and citizens across the world to take action to end violence against women in all its forms and in all its contexts.

“Look around at the women you are with. Think of those you cherish in your families and your communities, and understand that there is a statistical likelihood that many of them have suffered violence in their lifetime,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in hismessage to mark International Women’s Day, observed annually on 8 March.

The focus of the Day this year is on ending violence against women and girls. According to UN figures, up to 7 in 10 women globally will be beaten, raped, abused, or mutilated in their lifetimes, and while some 125 countries have laws that penalize domestic violence, there are still 603 million women that live in countries where it is not a crime.

Mr. Ban recalled that 2012 was a year of “shocking” crimes of violence against women and girls. “One young woman was gang-raped to death. Another committed suicide out of a sense of shame that should have been attached to the perpetrators. Young teens were shot at close range for daring to seek an education.

“These atrocities, which rightly sparked global outrage, were part of a much larger problem that pervades virtually every society and every realm of life.”

source: UN News Center