Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. It can include physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse, and it cuts across boundaries of age, race, culture, wealth and geography. It takes place in the home, on the streets, in schools, the workplace, in farm fields, refugee camps, during conflicts and crises. It has many manifestations — from the most universally prevalent forms of domestic and sexual violence, to harmful practices, abuse during pregnancy, so-called honour killings and other types of femicide.
Violence against women and girls has far-reaching consequences, harming families and communities. For women and girls 16–44 years old, violence is a major cause of death and disability. In 1994, a World Bank study on ten selected risk factors facing girls and women in this age group, found rape and domestic violence more dangerous than cancer, motor vehicle accidents, war and malaria. Studies also reveal increasing links between violence against women and HIV and AIDS.
UN Women’s Trust Fund to end Violence against women provides grants to organisations and other agencies that work to prevent violence against women. UN Women New Zealand’s partner in the Marshall Islands, WUTMI, has been a recipient of this fund.
What UN Women NZ does to combat Violence against Women
Within New Zealand we participate in the White Ribbon Campaign that is co-ordinated by the Families Commission. We also support organisations working actively to eliminate violence against women , mainly through advocacy and submissions to the alternative CEDAW report.
Violence against women is a major issue in the Pacific. In the Solomon Islands 46% of women reported experiencing physical violence and 55% reported experiencing sexual violence during the years 2000-2010. The figures for Samoa are similar: 41% had experienced physical violence over the same period and 20% had experienced sexual violence.
UN Women Pacific administers the Pacific Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. UN Women NZ contributes to the portion allocated for violence against women projects in the Solomon Islands through our Walk for Women fundraising.