UNiTE Campaign to End Violence against Women Launches in Asia-Pacific Region
At present, nearly half of the countries in South Asia and more than 60 percent in the Pacific have no laws on domestic violence. (Photo: UN/Martine Perret)
The United Nations Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women kicked off in the Asia-Pacific region on 25 November 2010 at a high-profile event in Bangkok, Thailand. The launch coincided with the annual observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
"We will not successfully end violence against women, unless we substitute the mindset of masculinity with one of gender sensitivity," said HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand during the launch at the United Nations Conference Centre that brought together more than 600 people, from diplomats to government officials, as well as high-level speakers, such as the Thai Prime Minister.
A UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador, HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha has played an active role on the issue through the campaign’s social mobilization arm, Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women. At the event, she presented a banner showcasing more than 600,000 actions that have already been taken on the issue in Thailand through Say NO - UNiTE.
The Asia-Pacific regional component of the UNiTE campaign aims to rally all stakeholders — governments, civil society, the private sector, the media and the United Nations system — to join forces to address the global pandemic of gender-based violence that affects up to 70 percent of women throughout their lifetime.
Among the specific goals which the campaign aims to achieve over the next five years are the strengthening of data collection on the prevalence of violence and the adoption and enforcement of national laws to address and punish all forms of violence against women and girls. At present, nearly half of the countries in South Asia and more than 60 percent in the Pacific have no laws on domestic violence.
In his statement, the Prime Minister of Thailand HE Abhisit Vejjajiva said his country will rise to the challenge.
"Neither gender equality nor development can be fu