The global world is celebrating the international day of “Elimination of Violence against Women.” In retrospect, This campaign, led by the UN Secretary-General and UN Women since the year 2008, aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world, calling for global action to increase awareness, promote advocacy and create opportunities for discussion on challenges and solutions. Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.
The adverse psychological, sexual and reproductive health consequences of VAWG affect women at all stages of their life. For example, early-set educational disadvantages not only represent the primary obstacle to universal schooling and the right to education for girls; down the line they are also to blame for restricting access to higher education and even translate into limited opportunities for women in the labour market.
While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable – for instance, young girls and older women, women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, migrants and refugees, indigenous women and ethnic minorities, or women and girls living with HIV and disabilities, and those living through humanitarian crises.
Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as to the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights. All in all, the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – to leave no one behind – cannot be fulfilled without putting an end to violence against women and girls.