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"A LIFE FREE OF VIOLENCE: IT’S OUR RIGHT"

"UNA VIDA SIN VIOLENCIA ES UN DERECHO NUESTRO"

"UMA VIDA SEM VIOLENCIA E UM DIREITO NOSSO               
"UNE VIE SANS VIOLENCE C'EST NOTRE DROIT"


UNITED NATIONS INTER-AGENCY CAMPAIGN

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The Campaign Objectives


  • Raise awareness on the prevalence and high human, social and economic costs of violence against women and girls;

  • Sensitize, motivate and build capacity of governments to develop, change, and implement legislation and policies to combat gender violence;

  • Support and strengthen networks, public and private organizations and programmes that work to eradicate violence against women and girls.


"The promotion of women’s rights means the promotion of freedom, justice and the peaceful resolution of disputes, of social progress and better standards of living; of equality, tolerance and dignity. Two issues take on particular urgency: violence against women and women and armed conflict…In all societies, women and girls are subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse that cuts across lines of income, class and culture. As we celebrate the anniversary of the Declaration, we are drawing on people and governments alike to get across the message that human rights are not something to be given or taken away by a government like a subsidy. They are not something to be explained away by cultural specificity. They are intrinsic to humanity. As the world celebrates this day, let us spread the message that women’s rights are the responsibility of all humankind; that combating all forms of violence against women is the duty of all humankind; and that achieving the empowerment of women is the advancement of all humankind. SECRETARY – GENERAL, Kofi Annan. Excerpt from the Secretary-General’s message for International Women’s Day, March 8th 1998 SECRETARY – GENERAL, Kofi Annan. Excerpt from the Secretary-General’s message for International Women’s Day, March 8th 1998

"This year we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the great constitutional document on the inherent dignity and value of every individual. The words of the Declaration coupled with those of Vienna Declaration, 1993, and that of Beijing, 1995, stand in sharp contrast to the daily reality of life for so many. Women throughout the world have found that Declarations and Conventions are not enough to guarantee their human rights. It is past time to move from fine words to firm action by international organizations, national and local governments and civil society to ensure that the rights of women everywhere are fully honoured." Mary Robinson. The high commissioner on Human Rights . Excerpt from her Message on International Women’s Day

"Perhaps the most disturbing threat to women’s advancement is violence. According to the Human Development Report 1997, it is estimated that one in three married women in developing countries are battered by their husbands during their lifetime. Rape, dowry deaths, bride burnings and sexual violence occur at an all too frequent rate. As long as these barriers exist, progress across the board will be stifled. Efforts to achieve sustainable human development will only succeed if our resources empower women as well as men to seize opportunities and make a difference for themselves,  their families, and their communities. The bottom line?  Women and children are the future." James Gustave Speth, Administrator, UNDP, excerpt from CHOICES.

The recognition of gender-based violence as a violation of human rights was the result of decades of diverse actions and mobilizations. The Decade of Women, proclaimed by the United Nations in 1975, provided the perfect context. In 1980, during the 2nd International Conference on the United Nations Decade of Women, held in Copenhagen, participants first brought forth the importance of bringing to light an issue considered a private affair. International Day Against Violence to Combat Women GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IS AN OBSTACLE TO DEVELOPMENT.

Originally, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights paved the way by confirming that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." This principle is extended in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, which states that "the human rights of women and the girl-child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights," and that "Gender-based violence and all forms of sexual harassment and exploitation, including those resulting from cultural prejudice and international trafficking, are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person, and must be eliminated." Latin American and Caribbean Regional Report on the Trafficking of Women and Forced Labor, from ISIS INTERNACIONAL .

For women today, citizenship means more than just voting. As Guatemalan sociologist Ana Cecilia Escobar warns, "we exercise citizenship to the extent that we are able to interact as subjects among ourselves, with the State, with civil society. This process must include the politicization of the private sphere, which has to do with individual rights and access to the world that is considered public." Isis International Documentation and Information Center 

According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) there are 60 million women in Latin America and the Caribbean whose ethnic, linguistic, territorial, cultural and economic background defines them as rural women and/or workers. Scattered over a continent of widely-differing climates, geographies and histories, a significant number of rural women live in severe poverty.According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) there are 60 million women in Latin America and the Caribbean whose ethnic, linguistic, territorial, cultural and economic background defines them as rural women and/or workers. Scattered over a continent of widely-differing climates, geographies and histories, a significant number of rural women live in severe poverty.  Rural Women: High Productivity, Even Higher Poverty

Governments in Latin America and the Caribbean agreed to adopt and implement national legislation to end violence against women and to work actively to ratify all international agreements that relate to violence against women. In particular, the Organization of American States (OAS) adopted the Convention of Belem do Para, a legally binding international instrument that recognizes all gender-based violence as an abuse of human rights. Governments agreed that there should be shelters, legal aid and other services for girls and women at risk, and counseling and rehabilitation for perpetrators. Governments also pledged to adopt appropriate measures in the field of education to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women. However, while adoptions of agreements and pledges are important first steps, translating them into concrete actions has become the more challenging objective. Life without violence:It's our right

UNIFEM Ecuador

Gender Violence Throughout the Life Cycle

Phase

Type of Violence Present

Prenatal:

Battering during pregnancy (emotional and physical effects on the woman; effects on birth); coerced pregnancy; deprivation of food and liquids; sex-selective abortion.

Infancy:

Female infanticide; emotional and physical abuse; differential access to food and medical care for girl infants.

Childhood:

Child marriage; genital mutilation; sexual abuse by family members and strangers; differential access to food and medical care; child prostitution.

Adolescence:

Rape and marital rape; sexual assault; forced prostitution; trafficking in women; courtship violence; economically coerced sex; sexual abuse in the workplace;

Reproductive Age:

Abuse of women by intimate partners; marital rape; dowry abuse and murders; partner homicide; psychological abuse; sexual abuse in the workplace; sexual harassment; rape; abuse of women with disabilities; legal discrimination.

Old-Age:

Abuse and exploitation of widows.

wpeA.jpg (13041 bytes)
Painting by Tomie Othake for the
Brazil Campaign Pro tempore

 

UNDP Against Violence Home Page

For more information, please contact Aparna Mehrotra, Focal Point for Women, Tel: (212)963-6828 Fax: (212) 963-9545, e-mail: mehrotra@un.org

Management and direction: Aparna Mehrotra
Website  design
: Lola Salas
Writing, editing& proofing: Aparna Mehrotra, Dana Burde, Rini Banerjee and Tanaz Pardiwala
Graphic: Joan Miró
(detail) from folder by Isis International

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