At a time when the country has been shaken by the gruesome murder and dismemberment of the body of a young woman by her partner in a Delhi neighbourhood, UN secretary-general António Guterres called on governments to increase funding by 50 percent to women’s rights organisations and movements by 2026. He was speaking ahead of “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women” observed each year on November 25. Guterres in a message said that “violence against women and girls is the most pervasive human rights violation in the world” and highlighted that “every 11 minutes, a woman or girl is killed by an intimate partner or family member.”
The UN secretary general cautioned that other stresses, from the Covid-19 pandemic to economic turmoil, inevitably lead to even more physical and verbal abuse. He further stated that women and girls also face rampant online violence. “This discrimination, violence and abuse targeting half of humanity comes at a steep cost. It limits women’s and girls’ participation in all walks of life, denies their basic rights and freedoms, and blocks the equal economic recovery and sustainable growth our world needs,” he added.
Guterres said that this year’s theme “UNITE: Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls” is a reminder for all to stand with activists around the world who are calling for change and supporting survivors of violence.
A reflection of the concerns highlighted by the UN secretary general were raised recently in the findings shared in a report on “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: the gender snapshot 2022”. The report, jointly produced by UN Women and the UN Statistics Division shows that globally, more than 1 in every 10 women and girls aged 15-49 were subjected to sexual and/or physical violence by an intimate partner in the previous year. Also, 1 in 4 women describe more frequent household conflicts since the pandemic began.
The report highlighted that despite progress on laws to address and prevent violence against women, at the current rate, it will take at least another 21 years for these laws to be in place everywhere.