United Nations, New York, 23 November 2011 - To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, and in tribute to grassroots activists around the world who are at the forefront of the efforts to end the pandemic of violence, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) today announced its new global Call for Proposals to support country-level programmes to end violence against women and girls.
The statistics are as horrifying as they are incredible, but they are unfortunately true. In the USA, 17.6% of women have undergone some form of rape. 21.6% were younger than age 12 when they were first raped, and 32.4% were between the ages of 12 and 17 (c). Many of these were performed by someone known to the victim. In the USA, half the domestic violence incidents are reported to the authorities and only 37% of rapes, while someone is sexually assaulted in this country every two minutes.
Despite the horrific personal costs of a rape or sexual assault, only around 5% of the perpetrators actually spend some time in prison. At the same time, some 55,000 women and children are trafficked annually in the United States of America.
However, the USA is not alone in these statistics - it is just one example among many. 60 million girls disappear each year, many from Asian countries, as a result of sexual crimes and one third of women, worldwide, experience some form of violence. A further 4 million women and girls are trafficked annually, while one million girls enter the sex trade.
90 million African women have been the victims of Female Genital Mutilation while in some parts of Africa, between 17 to 22 per cent of girls aged 15 to 19 are HIV positive.
Shocking statistics, yet true ones and the trend shows little sign of abating.
UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Marks 15th Anniversary - New Call for Proposals Announced
This year's Call for Proposals marks the UN Trust Fund's 15th Anniversary. "The fifteen years of the UN Trust Fund have shown us what works to end violence against women," said Michelle Bachelet, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. "Change is possible, and the strategies and innovations that have developed with support from the UN Trust Fund are a strong testament to the fact that we are at a unique moment in history to put an end to violence against women. It is time to translate this momentum into reality for women and girls, and their communities and nations."
The UN Trust Fund's partners work to prevent violence and to ensure critical services - including legal aid, health care, shelter, and psychosocial support - to women and girl survivors of violence. Using multiple strategies, UN Trust Fund partners are working with youth, engaging men and boys, combining media with education, and developing the capacity of first responders. Showcasing the impressive results achieved through the projects, the UN Trust Fund recently published a new report, "UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women - Mapping of the Grantees' Outcomes (2006 to mid-2011)."
The report's findings highlight that the UN Trust Fund has supported innovative, effective initiatives that have transformed the ways in which people and institutions think and act. The Trust Fund has invested in comprehensive approaches that range from prevention to the provision of services and efforts to bring legislative reform for women impacted by violence against women. It has provided seed funding for approaches that are recognized among the world's leading practices, such as the Safe Cities initiative that began in Latin America and is now "going global" with support from the United Nations and various government and civil society partners.
In her message for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Ms. Bachelet said, "The United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women is supporting local groups and innovative strategies, saving lives and helping to end the indifference, inequality and impunity that allow such violence to continue."
As of November 2011, the UN Trust Fund's grant portfolio comprised 96 projects in 86 countries for a total value of more than USD 61 million. More than 77 percent of these grants, amounting to more than USD 44 million, support civil society organizations. Grants awarded to governments and UN county teams amount to USD 5.9 million and USD 10.8 million, respectively. However, funding gaps continue to persist: the UN Trust Fund was able to meet only 5 percent of the demand for funding in 2011. "To mark this year's 15th anniversary, I invite partners to contribute to the Trust Fund to meet the high unmet needs for programming around the globe," said Ms. Bachelet.
Established in 1996 by a General Assembly Resolution, the UN Trust Fund is the only multilateral grant-making mechanism exclusively devoted to supporting local and national efforts to end violence against women and girls. It is managed by UN Women on behalf of the UN system.
The Call for Proposals is open until 19 January 2012, 23:59 EST (GMT-5), and it can be accessed at http://www.unwomen.org/how-we-work/un-trust-fund/application-guidelines/.
Photo: UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet with UN Trust Fund grantees Irma Ralac Cux, Population Council, Guatemala, and Magda El Sanousi, Oxfam GB, Lebanon at UN Headquarters in New York on 23 November 2011, for the official commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. L-R: UNiTE T-Shirt Award Winner Juarez Romero Bryan, Mexico; UN Trust Fund grantee Magda El Sanousi, Oxfam GB, Lebanon; Pascaline Umulisa, WAGGGS, Rwanda; UN Trust Fund grantee, Irma Ralac Cux, Population Council, Guatemala; UNiTE T-Shirt Award Winner Fedor Silenkov, Belarus; UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet; UNiTE T-Shirt Award Winner Mwasapi Kihongosi, Tanzania; and Monique Coleman, UN Youth Champion. The theme for this year's International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is "Leadership of the Youth in Preventing and Ending Violence against Women and Girls." (Photo: UN Women.)
a. Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization, 20 avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.
b. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, England.
c. Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women, Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, November, 2000
Also read: 16 steps policy agenda
Source: UNO, UNWOMEN