New Era (Windhoek)

8 March 2013

Namibia: Ban Ki-Moon Denounces Violence Against Women

Windhoek — The UN has renewed its pledge towards combating violence against women and is calling on communities to begin steering a change for the better future of women.

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon who delivered a statement in New York yesterday in commemoration of International Women's Day, which is marked all over the world today, highlighted the plight of young women and the abuse they live with. "One young woman was gang-raped to death, another committed suicide out of a sense of shame that should have attached to the perpetrators. Young teens were shot at close range for daring to seek an education," he lamented, noting that attacks on females have sparked a global outrage and are part of a bigger problem that cuts through all societies.

According to him chances are high that many of the women encountered have suffered violence in their lifetime and are women who have been comforted by a sister or friend, sharing their grief and anger following an attack.

The Secretary General further urged communities to convert their outrage into action, declaring that the UN will prosecute crimes against women, and will no longer allow women to be subjected to punishments for the abuses they have suffered.

"We also make a special promise to women in conflict situations, where sexual violence too often becomes a tool of war aimed at humiliating the enemy by destroying their dignity. To those women we say: the United Nations stands with you.

"As Secretary General, I insist that the welfare of all victims of sexual violence in conflict must be at the forefront of our activities. And I instruct my senior advisors to make our response to sexual violence a priority in all of our peace-making, peacekeeping and peace-building activities," he promised.

The United Nations is committed to the campaign against violence against women based on the simple but powerful premise that all women and girls have a fundamental human right to live free of any form of violence particularly from men. The UN this week is convening the largest ever UN assembly on ending violence against women.

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