November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and marks the first day of the 16 Days campaign calling for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
Nearly 1 in 3 women over 15 years have been subjected to physical and sexual violence by an intimate partner, non-partner or both, at least once in their lifetime.
COVID-19 has exacerbated all risk factors for violence against women, including unemployment and poverty, and reinforced gender stereotypes and harmful social norms.
It’s estimated that 11 million girls will not return to school because of COVID-19, increasing their risk of child marriage. The economic fallout is expected to to push 47 million more women and girls into extreme poverty.
Age offers no protection against violence towards women. Women over 60 experience violence at similar rates to younger women.
Actions you can take:
- Ask your MP for more social and affordable housing, so women escaping DV have a safe place to live. In our country, nearly 8,000 women return to an abusive partner and 9,000 experience homelessness after leaving their partner (read more here)
- Demand greater gender equality and more female representation in government.
- Prevention efforts should address gender norms, root causes and risk factors of violence against women. Prevention initiatives can include dedicated curricula in education systems, economic support for women and households, and awareness and messaging campaigns to influence and change social norms through media.
- According to the UN, only 1 out of 10 women survivors of violence seek help from the police, globally. Many withdraw from the justice process due to poor responses from police or other judicial actors.
For more information about 16 Days, visit UNWomen.org.