November 25 is the International Day chosen to highlight gender violence, a scourge described by the World Health Organization as a major health hazard, one which affects over a third of all women in all societies, all social classes, all continents, and one which is not diminishing. The horrifying statistics are a fitting comment on today's world.
Around thirty-five per cent of all women have at one time in their lives, at least, or several times, experienced intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. Thirty per cent of women who have been in any sort of relationship have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence committed by their partner. This violence can leave permanent physical, mental, sexual or reproductive health problems and sequels.
Those typically perpetrating violence will display attitudes which accept gender inequality and gender violence, and may possibly have witnessed gender violence in the family. Abuse of drugs or alcohol is also a factor. Those typically suffering violence may have witnessed gender violence in the household when growing up, may have been exposed to abuse during their childhood and may come from backgrounds which accept gender inequality and gender violence.
There is some evidence to support the effectiveness, or promise of effectiveness, of school-based programmes promoting gender equality and preventing relationship violence (such as dating violence) among young persons. Other schemes which have shown promising signs are microfinance projects aimed at empowering women while providing gender equality training and financing community initiatives which focus on gender equality and communication and relationship skills.
UN Commemoration of the International Day to End Violence against Women - Performance of Play: Wounded to Death
Press Conference and official UN Commemoration of the International Day to End Violence against Women, 25 November
Press Conference, Monday, 25 November, 11.15 a.m., Room S-0237, UN Secretariat, New York. Speakers will include UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri; Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi; Serena Dandini, Italian writer and TV host.
Actors/narrators Rosy Canale, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Laurie Fabiano, Valeria Golino, Angela Della Costanza Turner and Maureen van Zandt will also be present.
Theatrical Performance of "Wounded to Death", Trusteeship Council, UN Secretariat, 4-5.30 p.m. The performance will be presented by Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi.
LIVE webcast of both the events will be available at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/end-violence-against-women
Violence against women and girls, a gross human rights violation, is a pandemic worldwide. One in three women is likely to face violence in her lifetime. Most violence takes place in intimate relationships, with up to 70 per cent of women reporting their husbands or partners as the perpetrator. In spite of significant progress in legislation and attitudinal shifts, violence against women is prevalent in all societies. Today 603 million women still live in countries where domestic violence is not a crime.
At UN Headquarters, the Italian Mission, UN Women and the Department of Public Information will co-host the commemoration of the International Day to End Violence against Women by presenting the play "Wounded to Death" by renowned Italian playwright Serena Dandini. "Wounded to Death" is a series of monologues that give voice to women who have died as a result of femicide (murder of women based on their gender). The enactments will be presented by women from the world of entertainment, art and civil society, including among others Italian actors Maria Grazia Cucinotta and Valeria Golino; photographer Nan Goldin and artist Marina Abramovic.
Staged originally in Palermo the play has been presented with great success around Italy, inspiring spontaneous performances from people in rural villages to groups in schools.
The International Day to End Violence against Women is commemorated worldwide on 25 November. The Day also kicks off the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, an international campaign which runs until 10 December (Human Rights Day), inviting individuals and groups to mobilize and call for the elimination of violence against women and girls. This year's official theme, framed by the UN Secretary-General's campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women, is "Orange the World in 16 Days".
UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.
Source: UN Women