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PIA Press Release
2008/11/24

Helping to end violence against women is responsibility of all people, UN says

Tacloban City (November 24) -- As the whole world commemorates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, the United Nations Secretary General said that all people, men and women, soldiers and peacekeepers, citizens and leaders, have a responsibility to help end violence against women.

In a statement issued for the November 25 International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, the United Nations Secretary General said that States must honor their commitments to prevent violence, bring perpetrators to justice and provide redress to victims.

He also called on each and every person to "speak out in our families, workplaces and communities, so that acts of violence against women cease."

The United Nations is determined to strengthen efforts including the global campaign "UNiTE to end violence against women" which aims to raise public awareness, increase political will and resources, and create a supportive environment to make good on existing policy commitments.

The UN Secretary General said that thanks to the Security Council's groundbreaking resolution 1820, adopted in June, the use of sexual violence as a tactic of warfare is now recognized as a matter of international peace and security.

According to the resolution, peacekeeping missions, in particular those with mandates to protect civilians, must now include the protection of women and children from all forms of violence in their reporting on conflict situations.

Resolution 1820 also requested stronger efforts to implement the vital zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation by UN personnel, and urged troop and police contributing countries to ensure full accountability in cases of misconduct.

The adoption of resolution 1820 is part of a growing global trend to address this scourge. This past February's Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking, and the continued leadership of the General Assembly, are additional signs of international momentum.

At the national level, the UN Secretary said that more and more countries are meeting their obligations to protect women through comprehensive legislation, better services for victims, stronger partnerships and increased efforts to engage men and boys in addressing the problem.

Despite this progress, there are still gaps, the UN said. There is a need to do more to enforce laws and counter impunity. There is a need to combat attitudes and behavior that condone, tolerate, excuse or ignore violence committed against women. There is also a need to increase funding for services for victims and survivors.

25 November was declared as a day against violence against women by the first Feminist Encuentro for Latin America and the Caribbean held in Bogota, Colombia, 18 to 21 July 1981. It originally marked the day that the three Mirabal sisters from the Dominican Republic were violently assassinated in 1960 during the Trujillo dictatorship. (PIA 8) [top]

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