UN Women is calling on Governments everywhere to COMMIT to end violence against women and girls. There are many ways to make a life free of violence a reality for women and girls in every country: from passing or improving laws, providing better services for survivors, supporting education programmes, and increasing women in law enforcement, peacekeeping forces and frontline services. Check out if your government has made a commitment.
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In a series of meetings and events, governments and activists from around the world are convening at the United Nations Headquarters in New York for the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57) from 4 to 15 March 2013. This year, the discussions will focus on two key areas: prevention of violence against women and girls, and the provision of services and response to survivors of violence.
It is estimated that up to seven in ten women globally will be beaten, raped, abused, or mutilated in their lifetime – and most of this violence takes place in intimate relationships. Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive human rights violation that fractures families and communities and hampers development. It has enormous social, economic and productivity costs for individuals, families, communities and societies. It also costs countries billions of dollars every year in extra health care costs and lost productivity.
Much progress has happened over the last few decades. Today, there are international agreements and treaties specifically aimed at giving women and girls the respect, dignity, choices and freedom that every human being should enjoy. Important steps have been taken globally and regionally to end violence against women and girls. More than 125 countries now have specific laws that penalize domestic violence. Yet, 603 millionwomen live in countries where it is not considered a crime. Much more needs to be done.
It is possible to end this pandemic through determined leadership for prevention, protection and provision of services for survivors, awareness raising and attitudinal change.
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