Statement By UN Women Leader Michelle Bachelet on International Day on Violence Against Women

For Immediate Release

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Diana Duarte, Media Coordinator
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Statement By UN Women Leader Michelle Bachelet on International Day on Violence Against Women

NEW YORK - Message from Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive
Director Michelle Bachelet on the occasion of the International Day for
the Elimination of Violence against Women

Press release online here.

join with the millions of women and men, community groups, women’s
rights networks, government partners, parliamentarians, health workers
and teachers who have made 25 November — the International Day for the
Elimination of Violence against Women — a day to come together and renew
our common commitment to ending the global pandemic of violence against

Worldwide, women and girls continue to suffer violence
inside and outside of their homes, often at the hands of intimate
partners or persons of trust. Gender-based violence, particularly sexual
violence, has also become a troubling and persistent feature in
situations of armed conflict. Stopping violations of women’s human
rights is a moral imperative and one which we must come together to
combat. The impact of such a scourge on society — psychological,
physical, and economic — cannot be overstated. Addressing this
persistent violation can also reverse the economic impact of
significantly lower productivity and higher health care costs — funds
drained away on a preventable problem.

The Secretary-General’s
Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women has given new impetus to
efforts to end violence against women. More than 130 countries now have
laws against domestic violence, but more needs to be done to enforce
them and counter impunity. More men and men’s organizations are joining
in the campaign to end violence against women and girls, but we need to
combat attitudes and behaviours that permit or even encourage this
violence. We need services so that the millions of women and girls who
survive abuse every year can recover and secure justice. We must hold
perpetrators to account. We must intensify prevention efforts, so that
someday we will no longer need to meet on 25 November and call for
ending violence against women.

Joining in the efforts to stop
violence is everybody’s responsibility. Governments, private
enterprises, civil society groups, communities and individual citizens
can all make essential contributions. Men and boys must be active in
encouraging respect for women and zero tolerance for violence. Cultural
and religious leaders can send clear messages about the value of a world
free of violence against women.

As we come together to end
violence, a core part of our responsibility must be providing enough
resources. So far, this investment has been inadequate. Last year, the
UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women met only 3 percent of the
requests it received for programmes vital to progress. The fund has a
US$100 million annual funding goal that we can all strive to reach.
These funds will go to governments, civil society groups and UN agencies
at the forefront of advocacy and innovation to end violence against
women and girls.

Step by step, we can work together towards the
day when all women live free from violence and realize their full
potential as powerful agents for thriving, peaceful societies.


MADRE is an international women's human rights organization that works in partnership with community-based women's organizations worldwide to address issues of health and reproductive rights, economic development, education, and other human rights. MADRE provides resources, training, and support to enable our sister organizations to meet concrete needs in their communities while working to shift the balance of power to promote long-term development and social justice. Since we began in 1983, MADRE has delivered nearly 25 million dollars worth of support to community-based women's organizations in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Balkans, and the United States. For more information about MADRE, visit our website at

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