The Executive Director, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr Natalia Kanem, has said “Enough to All Forms of Violence against Women and Girls” in a message to the launch of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) across the globe.
Kanem, who emphasised the UN organ’s position on GBV, said “that is what we say today and always; enough to domestic violence against women, enough to rape, enough to harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation and child marriage, and enough to impunity to violation of human rights.
“Women and girls everywhere have a right to live and right to be free from violence, saying its an international day to end violence against women. We remind the world against violence to women.”
She added that COVID-19 had shown the world the way to think differently and act differently, stressing that “let us say enough is enough to GBV. Let us put issues against GBV on the top of the list. One word to transform our world is to say “enough!”
The 16 days of activism against GBV, which runs from Nov. 25 till Dec. 1 is the longest-running women’s rights campaign in the world, with more than 6,000 organisations from approximately 187 countries participating. Since its launch by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute at Rutgers University in 1991, the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership had been leading the initiative.
The 16 days campaign initially aimed to connect GBV and human rights by falling during a period with several human rights advocacy days, such as the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day on Nov. 29 and the World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.
However, GBV occurs in developing and developed countries alike. Over a third of women (35 per cent) have experienced physical and/or sexual violence, and such violence impacts one in three women in their lifetime, according to the World Bank. Consequently, failure to protect women threatens future generations, as children who grow up in households with violence are more likely to experience or perpetuate violence.