Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Violence against women - too huge to grab

WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform member OxfamNovib has published an article that I want to share here at this crucial time during the negotiations, because it gives us a feeling for what it's actually all about: the horrendous scope and scale of violence against women and girls around the world.

"Fresh from the Commission on the Status of Women meeting in New York, Daniela Rosche argues that there is too much rhetoric and not enough action in the struggle to end violence against women.

It is estimated that one in three women has been subjected to some form of violence. In a 2005 multi-country study (PDF) by the World Health Organization (WHO) up to 70% of women between 15 and 49 years of age said they had experienced some form of violence throughout their life. At CSW last week, many women's rights activists from various countries and regions made a case that VAW is actually increasing, which would mean that more than the numbers quoted in the WHO study would be affected. So, of the 3.5 billion women worldwide, up to 2.5 billion will have experienced violence at some point in their life! A number too huge to grasp. 

In recent years we have seen a surge of violence in countries like DRC, Egypt and India. But also in developed regions like Europe, trafficking of women for sex work and forced prostitution is on the rise. In addition, forced and early marriage, which is a form of violence against women, is an issue that remains unsolved just as is sexual harassment. 

Despite condemnation from governments and the UN, VAW is rampant. Why? With the help of a big partner's survey, Oxfam came to the conclusion that when it comes to governments' efforts to end VAW at the country level, there is a huge gap with the implementation of existing norms and standards for example those laid down in the Beijing PlatformThe lack of gender equality in most countries is one of the root causes of VAW. We are looking to this year's CSW to advance the women's rights agenda when it comes to the elimination of VAW. 

Daniela Rosche from Oxfam argues for some concrete actions to be taken to eliminate violence againste women once and for all. You can read the full article here

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