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Women and girls deserve to live without violence in ‘safety, dignity and freedom’ |


“One in three women worldwide has experienced direct violence,” Secretary General António Guterres say in one video messages at an event on the sidelines of the Annual Conference on the Status of Women (CSW).

He notes that every 11 minutes, a woman is killed by a partner or family member, often in her own home, “where she should be safest.”

“We cannot accept a world where half of humanity is at risk on the streets, in their homes or online. We must end violence against women and girls – now.”

Make the conversion

According to the top UN official, changing the “hearts and minds of men and boys” is the first step.

“Men created this scourge. Men must end it”.

This begins with all men looking in the mirror and pledging to eliminate “the deviant power dynamics, toxic masculinity, and cultural norms and stereotypes that have fueled this violence for so many years.” millennium”.


People demonstrate during a protest for women's rights in Ecuador.

UN Women / Johis Alarcon

People demonstrate during a protest for women’s rights in Ecuador.

Imagine the change

From Europe to Asia and Africa to America, COVID-19 has caused a dramatic increase in violence against women in every region of the world.

In the early days of the 2020 pandemic, the head of the United Nations called for an end to the rise in violence against women and girls.

“We know that change is possible,” he said.

To this end, the United Nations Spotlight Initiative To date, has educated 880,000 men and boys about positive masculinity, respectful relationships, and nonviolent conflict resolution.

From taxi drivers to sports clubs, men are actively participating in programs to prevent gender-based violence and support women’s survival, Mr. Guterres informed the event.

Meanwhile, the UN is working with governments and legislators to strengthen laws and regulations to better protect women and girls.

Need more work

Since Friends group to eliminate violence against women and girls was established in 2020 – as a response to the Secretary-General’s call to action – its membership has grown to almost 100.

“But it’s time to do more,” said the top UN official, reminding that the issue does not concern any country so everyone must act.

He argued that the proposals posed Our Common Agenda The report, presented to Member States last year, “offers a road map to address this challenge with the strategic urgency it deserves”.

“We call on every Member State to develop an emergency plan to prevent and respond to gender-based violence,” he said.


One woman leads a focus group in Mali where she mobilizes girls and women against all forms of violence to change behaviour.

© UNICEF / Harandane Dicko

One woman leads a focus group in Mali where she mobilizes girls and women against all forms of violence to change behaviour.

Seize the opportunity

He described the event as “an opportunity” for each participant to start bringing the plans to life; coordinate by “drawing on the expertise of the United Nations and the positive models provided by the Spotlight Initiative”; and call on other countries to join.

“Let’s work together to ensure that every woman and girl can live their lives free of violence, with the safety, dignity and freedom they deserve,” the Secretary-General conclude.

Themed, Gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, policies and programs for disaster risk reduction and the environmentThe 66th CSW kicked off on March 14 and will run until Friday.



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