November 25Is Int'l Day For Elimination Of Violence Against Women
This year, a new advocacy program called "Say NO – Unite to End Violence Against Women," campaign, serves to spotlight international efforts to garner attention and action on the issue of violence against women.
The goal of the campaign is to reach 10,000 "actions" by March 2010, and one million in one year. Actions vary from volunteering at abuse shelters to donating to programs that protect victims of violence or educate women and girls.
The project will be a continuation of the "Say NO" signature campaign launched by UNIFEM in 2008. In one year the petition received five million signatures, including the names of Heads of State and parliamentarians from 69 countries.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, "I am painfully aware of the distance to go and gap between commitment and action. On this UN Day, let us resolve and redouble our efforts on behalf of the vulnerable, the powerless, the defenseless. Let us stand more united than ever – united in purpose and united in action to make the world a safer, better place."
Violence affects the lives of millions of women worldwide in all socio-economic and educational classes. It cuts across cultural and religious barriers impeding the right of women to participate fully in society. Violence against women takes a dismaying variety of forms from domestic abuse and rape, to child marriages, female circumcision, trafficking, dowry-related violence, and honor killings.
Today 1 out of 5 women has personally experienced some kind of abuse and almost every woman has been indirectly confronted with acts of violence and discrimination within her family or in her immediate neighborhood.
Changing people's attitude and mentality towards women will take a long time. Nevertheless, raising awareness of the issue of violence against women, and educating boys and men to view women as valuable partners in life, in the development of a society, and in the attainment of peace are just as important as taking legal steps to protect women's human rights.
SOURCE: Philippine Information Agency
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