NO WITH RIGHTS: UN Women statement on the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women

In the occasion of the International day against women’s violence the UN Women committee wants to stress the importance of the fight against this phenomenon and rape in particular, which is the main focus of this day.

To this day in the majority of countries providing data on rape reports statistics show that less than 40% of women who experience sexual violence seek help.

Furthermore, the US Bureau of Justice Statistics suggest only 35% of all sexual assaults are even reported to the police. What is more, rape most often does not get the proper sentencecing if being sentenced at all. Only about 0.7 percent of rapes and attempted rapes end with a felony conviction for the perpetrator. For instance :In the UK around 3.3% of all reported rapes end in a conviction. Sexual harassment in the work place against women is a persistant issue even in highly developed countries and measures need to be taken on a national as well as an international level. Even though there has been progress with campaigns such as the #metoo movement, sexual violence is still rampant throughout the world.

We call for better education on healthier gender roles and the importance of consent and responsibility. We stress the importance of the adoption at a national level of stricter legislation to regulate this issue and empower women to not only fight back but also speak up on this issue. Prevention is key, but we also recall the relevance of a safety net for victims of rape and sexual harrasment, who oftentimes are left alone facing the atrocities they have been victims of. Only when women will feel safe enough to raise their voice this issue will be eradicated once and for all. The acts taken against women include sexual harrasment, rape, child marriage, intimate partner violence, and human trafficking. Such violence targets women on an exceedingly high scale. In war zones, where people are most vulnerable, sexual violence and intimidation is more prevalent than ever. It is important to have legislation in place that condemns and sanctions unwanted sexual acts, and that legislation that is in place is actually enforced.

With 2019 being the year of the woman, and as we move forward into 2020, let us all continue to uphold and expand upon the values and lessons learnt of the myriad voices of the #metoo movement. And up until the day where violence against women is actually abolished, we will continue to fight for the safety of women all over the world.