Stand up and say ‘enough!’
International Day to End Violence against Women commemorated
26 November 2020 | Crime
So said United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Dr Natalia Kanem on the International Day to End Violence against Women commemorated on 25 November.
Kanem said that women and girls have every right to live free from violence, everywhere. They have a right to peace in the home, in public and online.
“Today, as we mark the International Day to End Violence against Women, it is a moment for everyone to pause and remember how far we have to go on this issue. A staggering one in three women and girls still experience violence at some point in their lives.”
She added that Covid-19 has fanned the flames. “With women locked at home with abusers and household tensions high, calls for help skyrocketed. Many went unanswered because shelters and other services were shut down, but also because assistance is often still not enough, including in humanitarian crises.”
In light of this, she urged people to do better. “It is time to stand up and say enough to violence not just on one day, but 365 days a year. We must prevent violence. And until we end it, we must provide everything women and girls need to survive and recover, from physical and mental health care to legal aid and support for regaining livelihoods.”
In over 130 countries, the UNFPA teams work towards helping to put a stop to violence against women and girls and to support those affected. Kanem said that last year, the organisation provided medical or psychosocial support services to more than 760 000 survivors of violence.
“In humanitarian settings in the first 10 months of 2020 alone, our prevention and response efforts have reached 2.8 million women and girls. Yet and still, the international community needs to do more. COVID-19 reveals, painfully but instructively, all the ways we need to think and act differently. Saying enough to violence is at the top of the list. This starts with recognizing how pervasive violence is in all societies and disrupting the factors that feed it.
“Enough. One word to transform our world.”