With Aide et Action, say no to violence against women
25 November 2020

Photo credit: UN Women

Aide et Action joins the campaign launched by UN Women on the theme  "Orange the world: Finance, intervene, prevent, collect!". From 25 November to 10 December, the campaign calls on governments, civil society and the private sector to join forces to combat violence against women and girls.

Aide et Action is associated with the campaign launched by UN Women on the theme "Orange the world: Finance, intervene, prevent, collect!."  Declined on 16 days of activismStarting on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ending on 10 December, Human Rights Day, the campaign calls on governments, civil society and the private sector to join forces to address the pervasiveness of violence against women and girls around the world. This multi-year initiative aims to amplify a call for global action to fill gaps in funding, access to essential services, prevention and data collection to improve vital services for women and girls. 

Ancestral violence on the rise

Before the covid-19 pandemic, the situation of girls and women around the world was already extremely difficult with :

  • 35% of women, or nearly 1 in 3 women, exposed to physical or sexual violence by their partner or someone else in their lifetime. 
  • 38% of women killed by their male partners.
  • 15 million underage girls are forcibly married each year
  • 120 million girls under the age of 20 (about 1 in 10) have experienced forced sex or other forced sexual acts.
  • 126 million adolescent girls aged 15-19 who believe that a husband has the right to beat his wife in certain circumstances.

COVID-19 responsible for increased violence

But the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation much worse: all countries have seen an alarming increase in cases of violence against women, particularly domestic violence, since the start of the pandemic and the containment measures. It is estimated that 4 million more girls will be forcibly married in the next few months and the United Nations estimates that there will be 2 million more women mutilated during the next decade, the pandemic will clearly put a stop to the efforts undertaken over the last decade to combat female genital mutilation.

Urgent need to ensure that girls' rights are respected

In the face of such a situation, what can be done? Improving funding to ensure the protection of women and girls, facilitating their access to essential services, and promoting prevention are of course urgent international issues. Aide et Action adds to these the urgent need to get all girls into school. At present, 130 million girls are still excluded from education, yet opening the doors of school to them would undoubtedly arm them against violence. Indeed, educating young girls is not only about enabling them to build themselves up and choose a profession, to contribute economically to the life of the home and society, it is also about guaranteeing them access to better nutrition, health services, sexual and reproductive education, and child protection programmes. It also means enabling them to become real agents of change, to fight by themselves against the discrimination and stigmas that have been imposed on them for thousands of years. In short, it is to enable them to ensure that their full rights as human beings are respected.

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