Actions to stop violence against women and girls ‘needed now more than ever’ — Global Affairs

“Nearly one in two women reported that they, or a woman they know, experienced some form of violence,” Amina Mohammed said in the Commonwealth Says No More Violence Against Women event, which takes place as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) kicks off in the Rwandan capital.

Noting the increasing incidences at home and in public spaces and online, he invited participants to stand up and observe a moment of silence for victims and survivors.

repercussions of COVID

COVID-induced social isolation, movement restrictions, and economic fallout have all contributed to the increase.

The pandemic has proven to be a real threat to the progress made towards achieving SDG 5 on advancing gender equality and empowering women.and the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls”, explained the deputy head of the UN.

It has also exposed the weakness of systems to address the needs of survivors, even as new battles erupt, further increasing the risk of conflict-related sexual violence.

Progress amid challenges

Despite the challenges, Ms. Mohammed was “encouraged” that many governments, civil society organizations, UN entities and others have taken steps to stop the scourge.

“By the end of 2021, our research showed that more than 1,600 gender-sensitive measures had been taken in 196 countries and territories, in response to the pandemic,” he said, adding that more than half of them had focused on addressing the violence against women and girls.

And affected women and girls must be given hope through actions, ranging from funding women’s rights organizations to integrating measures to end violence into pandemic response and recovery plans. and strengthening social protections for data collection “because we know that what we don’t know counts, doesn’t count,” the UN deputy chief said.

sparks of light

As for positive developments, he noted that civil society and governments are finding new ways to work together to tackle the scourge.

He cited the Spotlight Initiative and the Generation Equality Forum as “two successful examples of the positive impact of multilateralism and cooperation to end violence against women and girls.”

The Spotlight Initiative has helped provide 1.6 million women and girls in more than 25 countries with services related to gender-based violence and some 2.5 million young people have joined programs that promote equitable gender norms and values.

“Some 130 million people have been reached through campaigns to change behavior and mindsets; and $179 million have been allocated to civil society organizations”, he informed the participants.

Returning to last year’s Generation Equality forum, Ms. Mohammed noted that she launched an Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence, which has attracted more than 1,000 pledges in priority areas.

‘Push back’

These and other efforts “have never been more necessary,” he stressed.

“At a time when women’s rights are under attack in many parts of the world, we must go back… to seize every opportunity to transform structures of inequality and discrimination and put ourselves firmly on the path to gender equality,” stressed the Vice Secretary. -General.

He called on Member States, civil society and private sector partners to mobilize action against gender-based violence by investing in long-term prevention measures that address the root causes of violence.

“It is critical that strategies to prevent and end gender-based violence are part of all recovery efforts as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said, adding that “leadership and action is needed on the violence against women and girls, now more than ever.

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