25 November is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
According to the World Health Organisation, one in three women experiences physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, usually from a male partner. This inflicts deep physical and psychological wounds. Worst, girls and women are left without recourse or justice, forced to continue living under threat, often side by side with perpetrators enjoying impunity.
We must break the silence and speak out. We must stop seeing women as victims, to empower them as forces of change in their lives and communities. We must start as early as possible, with girls, on the benches of schools.
Our position is clear. Violence does not just harm women, it weakens societies as a whole. At a time when all countries are seeking new sources of creativity and dynamism, no one can be left behind, no society can afford to discriminate against half of its population, half of its imagination, half of its ingenuity. The rights and dignity of girls and women are foundations for a better future for all. This is why we must eliminate all violence against women.
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