30 November 2012

Africa: Oxfam Urges Governments to Take Action to End Violence Against Women

press release

In solidarity with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, Oxfam is urging governments to speed up the implementation of agreed standards and norms(1) to end violence against women in all its forms. Governments need to take action now as progress in ending violence against women remains far too slow. To spur positive action by governments, an expert group advising UN Women released a proposal for global implementation plan to end violence against women.(2)

We urge governments to use the political momentum focused on ending violence against women and take real and decisive action at the upcoming meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March 2013. At this meeting governments need to heed the call of UN Women and its expert group and agree to the development of an international implementation plan to end violence against women.

Worldwide, one in three women will experience violence throughout her lifetime(3). Oxfam envisions a safe and just world, where women and girls gain power over every aspect of their lives and live free from violence. Not only do women and girls have the right to live free from violence, violence against women is also root cause of poverty a structural barrier to women's empowerment and gender equality.

In a global survey conducted by Oxfam, almost all of the 100 women's rights activists interviewed across 75 countries indicated that ending violence against women is the most urgent women's rights issue to address at the country level.(4) A global action plan focused on implementing existing standards and norms at the country level would be a major first step towards eliminating violence against women in all its forms. Ending violence is a shared goal by the international community and we cannot afford to fail women and girls on this issue.

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