Violence against women and girls is not confined to a specific culture or peoples, but affects every country in the world:
- In the UAE marital rape is legal;
- In Burundi rape victims are forced to marry their perpetrators;
- In the Maldives (child) survivors of rape are treated as criminals – a 15 year old girl was convicted of ‘fornication’ after being raped by her stepfather.
- In England and Wales two women are killed every week as a result of domestic violence.
According to the United Nations, the cost of intimate partner violence in the United States exceeds US $5.8 billion per year in direct medical and health care services, and productivity losses.
Violence against women is a result of unequal power relations between men and women and persistent discrimination, which affects every part of a women’s life, from lower literacy rates to an increased vulnerability to HIV.
Please see Elizabeth’s writing on women’s rights below. Please see other women’s rights articles in the sections on child rights, the trafficking of women and children, maternal and infant health, and the sexualisation of women and children.
- October 2015 Violence Against Women and Girls: Support for sex workers in Turkana, Kenya. They say that it is better to be a refugee in the nearby Kakuma camp, despite its many hardships, than a member of the Turkana, the host community which surrounds it. The Turkana region is one of the most underdeveloped in Kenya, blighted by drought, economic hardship and gender inequality.
- November 2013 Gender Equality: UK preparatory meeting: UN Commission on the Status of Women 58th Session. I attended this event with around 90 stakeholders on gender equality to plan their representation at CSW58 and how to advance the cause of gender equality.
- September 2013 Research and Women’s Rights: UNICEF Research for Children 2013: From Evidence to Action. The first systematic attempt to showcase the breadth and depth of UNICEF’s research work, this publication includes a summary of research on subjects which include impacts on women’s as well as child rights.
- April 2010 Economics: Women’s work invisible in global economics. Principles of global accounting completely disregard the value of women, and the unpaid work of child rearing, maintaining homes and building communities through for example voluntary work.
- February 2003 Literacy: UN literacy decade: interview with UNESCO’s Director-General. “The ultimate goal, adopted in April 2000 at the second World Conference on Basic Education, is to achieve a 50-per-cent reduction in adult illiteracy by 2015.”
- January 2003 Literacy: Promoting literacy for a decade of action. The statistics surrounding the issue of literacy are staggering: There are 877 million illiterate adults in the world and 113 million children not attending school, the majority of whom are women and girls.
- January 2003 CEDAW: Women’s rights on the UN agenda: CEDAW Committee 28th Session 2003. During the three-week session, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women is considering reports from eight States parties to CEDAW: Albania, Canada, El Salvador, Kenya, Luxembourg, Norway, the Republic of the Congo and Switzerland.
- May 2002 International Law: Has international human rights law failed women? How can we be optimistic when rape and sexual assault are used to achieve political objectives during armed conflict, when the US Senate has still not ratified CEDAW, when every year, thousands of women and girls are murdered in the name of honour, and when trafficking of women is widely acknowledged as one of the fastest growing and most lucrative industries for the international criminal underworld.