Friday, 25 November 2016

Violence against women ‘serious obstacle’ to sustainable development – UN chief

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says violence against women and girls is serious obstacle to sustainable development and imposed “large-scale costs” on both communities and national economies.

Ban, in his message marking the 2016 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, said there was “growing global recognition” that violence constituted a grave human rights violation.

The secretary-general, therefore, called for “meaningful” action to prevent and respond to such violence.

“Violence against women and girls imposes large-scale costs on families, communities and economies,” Ban said.

He explained that when women cannot work as a result of violence, their employment could be put at risk, jeopardising much-needed income, autonomy and their ability to leave abusive relationships.

He added that the violence also results in lost productivity for businesses, and drains resources from social services, the justice system and health-care agencies.

“The net result is enormous suffering as well as the exclusion of women from playing their full and rightful roles in society.

“The world cannot afford to pay this price. Women and girls cannot afford it – and should not have to, yet such violence persists every day, around the world.”

The UN chief regretted that efforts to address such violence, while having strong political commitment, suffer from lack of resources, including funding.

Since 2008, Secretary-General Ban has been leading the UNiTE campaign to End Violence against Women, which calls for global action to increase resources and promote solutions.

“I call on governments to show their commitment by dramatically increasing national spending in all relevant areas, including in support of women’s movements and civil society organisations,” he said.

He called on world leaders as well as private sector, philanthropies and concerned citizens to contribute to UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) and to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.

The secretary-general recalled the Orange the World campaign aiming for a bright future for women and girls.

Ban said: “With dedicated investment, we can keep these lights shining, uphold human rights and eliminate violence against women and girls for good”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UN General Assembly, via Resolution 54/134, has designated Nov. 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The day raises awareness of the fact that women and girls are subject to violence, and to highlight that the scale and true nature of the violence is often hidden.

The theme of 2016 campaign to End Violence against Women is: ‘Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence against Women and Girls’, to amplify and address the funding shortfall.