Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 3 of this declaration states that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. For millions of women and girls around the world, this right is not fulfilled.
Gender based violence is a global epidemic that takes many forms, including physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence. These crimes take place within families, in schools, in work environments, in public places, as a part of war and conflict, as well as, part of organized crime that crosses borders.
The United Nations estimate that up to 70 % of women experience violence in their lifetime. Women and girls make up half of the world’s population, yet still, 67 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, many of their rights and freedoms are not protected or fulfilled.
According to the World Bank, women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria.
These facts and figures are both horrifying and unacceptable. Urgent action is needed and we all have a part to play. In the 16 days of activism against gender based violence, between 25 November and 10 December, Girls’ Globe bloggers and featured organizations have highlighted those who are taking action to ensure that women’s and girls’ rights and freedoms are protected.
- After an event with Vital Voices, Holly Curtis writes about the role of men and boys in ending violence against women.
- Yeabsira Bogale also shares her insight when it comes to engaging men and boys in the battle of ending gender based violence.
- Find out what progress is being made to end trafficking of Russian women as “mail-order brides” in this post by Cynthia Sularz.
- Watch “I am Fine”, a beautiful short film by Ripple Effect Images showing the plight of young girls in the Karamoja region of Uganda and what an amazing organization is doing for their rights and freedom.
- Learn how Educational Empowerment is using education in Myanmar as a key to end gender based violence.
- Understand the many forms of violence that refugee women and girls face in this post by Farah Mohammed.
- Ashley Lackovich-Van Gorp highlights violence against girls in child marriages.
- Find all posts on gender based violence here.
As the United Nations embarks upon its new campaign Our Rights Our Freedoms Always to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights, it is not only relevant, it is urgent, to ensure that action is taken to see an end to gender based violence.
Cover photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown