To focus on ending what remains a horrific reality for millions, events in connection with International Women’s Day, observed on 8 March at United Nations Headquarters and around the world, are calling for action to end violence against women and girls, using satellite concerts, seminars and song releases to raise awareness.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in his message on International Women´s Day that the year 2012 vividly demonstrated, that violence against women is universal, and is prevalent in all countries and all settings. One young woman was gang-raped to death, another later committed suicide out of a sense of shame that should have attached to the perpetrators and young teens were shot at close range for daring to seek an education, said the Un Secretary-General:
“These atrocities, which rightly sparked global outrage, were part of a much larger problem that pervades virtually every society and every realm of life,” he said. “This year on International Women’s Day, we convert our outrage into action. We declare that we will prosecute crimes against women - and never allow women to be subjected to punishments for the abuses they have suffered.”
More than 125 countries have specific laws that penalize domestic violence, a historic number, yet 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is still not a crime. Up to 7 in 10 women globally will be beaten, raped, abused, or mutilated in their lifetimes.
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
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