Contra Nocendi International Commemorates International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

On November 24, 2021, the United Nations marked this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, launching 16 days of activism to be concluded on the 10th of December 2020 — the day that commemorates the U.N.’s International Human Rights Day.

As a human rights organization focused on Africa, we actively follow conditions of women in civil society and in detention. Therefore Contra Nocendi joins with human rights organisations around the world in marking this day who believe that gender-based violence can and must be brought to light and prevented.

According to the U.N., violence against women is now a global crisis. Nearly 1 in 3 women face abuse during their lifetime. In times of crises, the numbers rise, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts and climate disasters. The new U.N. Women study shows that 2 in 3 women report that they or someone they know experienced some form of violence.

In countries both rich and poor, violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations. Such violence often goes un- or underreported, from shame, social and family stigma, and fear of reprisals felt by victims.

Violence and abuse can manifest in a number of different ways.

  • Intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide)
  • Sexual violence/harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment)
  • Human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation)

The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the U.N> General Assembly in 1993 defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering… including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

Particularly vulnerable are young girls and older women, women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, migrants and refugees, indigenous women and ethnic minorities, and women and girls living through humanitarian crises.

The promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs)  – to leave no one behind – cannot be fulfilled without putting an end to violence against women and girls.

To learn more on how to get involved, visit the U.N. Women website.