That's the average amount of bones in a woman's body that can crack, splint, split or break.
Violence against women is one of the most deadly and widespread violations of human rights across the world. Up to 7 in 10 women in the world report on having experienced sexual/physical violence in their lifetime. However, when we talk about violence against women, it is not just a matter of physical acts of harm but the psychological and economic impairment of 50% of the world's population.
Today, the United Nations marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
In countries around the world, millions of women and girls are beaten by their partners, subjected to forced sex, genitally mutilated or killed in the name of honour. In conflict, violence threatens women and girls in multiple ways -from forcing female children to be soldiers, to the systematic rape of civilian women and girls and the escalation of violence within the family when troops return home. Armed conflict has a devastating impact on the lives of women and girls that is far beyond the inherent violence of war.
And speaking of war, more girls and women are now missing from the planet, only because they are female, than all of the men killed on the battlefield in all of the wars of the 20th century combined. It is estimated that 60-107 million women are missing today because they have been aborted, killed after birth, or neglected to death. Imagine one Boeing 747 full of pregnant women crashing a day. That's how many women die in childbirth, every day, as a result of lack of resources or access to hospitals. The number of victims of this routine "gendercide" far exceeds the number of people who were slaughtered in all the genocides of the 20th century.
On this day, the UN calls for nations, states, organisations, and individuals to stand up for the prevention and eradication of violence against women and girls.
The campaign UNITE to End Violence Against Women, launched by UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon, has triggered and highlighted actions by individuals, governments and civil society partners. Actions have ranged from advocating for legislation to volunteering at local shelters, organizing local or national awareness raising campaigns, engaging young people, or donating funds towards programmes that protect women and girls from violence.
This year, the 25 November also is the starting point for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence which ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day. The campaign hopes to raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international level.
"Violence against women is not inevitable. Mindsets can change", Ban Ki-moon says in his message, as he urges everyone to take a stand against the violence.
The words "it's a girl!" still remain the deadliest in the world.
Picture: Kostas Satlanis, "They lived happily ever after". The poster was one of the finalists in UNRIC's campaign on Violence Against Women. You can find more material about UNRIC's campaigns on our website.
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.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
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