“Nearly one in two women reported that she, or a woman they know, has experienced some form of violence,” Amina Mohammed said at the meeting. Commonwealth says no more violence against women event, which takes place as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) kicks off in the Rwandan capital.
Noting the increasing incidents at home and in public and online spaces, she invited participants to hold a moment of silence for the victims and survivors.
Social isolation, movement restrictions and economic impacts caused by COVID have contributed to the increase.
†The pandemic has proven to be a real threat to progress towards SDG5 advancing gender equality and women’s empowermentand the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls,” said the deputy UN chief.
It has also exposed the weakness of systems to meet the needs of survivors even as new battles crop up, further increasing the risk of conflict-related sexual violence.
Progress Amid Challenges
Despite the challenges, Ms Mohammed was “encouraged” that many governments, civil society organizations, UN entities and others have taken action to stop the plague.
“By the end of 2021, our survey showed that more than 1,600 gender-sensitive measures had been taken in 196 countries and territories in response to the pandemic,” she said, adding that more than half of them had focused on tackling violence against women and girls.
And hope must be given to the women and girls affected through actions ranging from funding women’s rights organizations to integrating measures to end violence into pandemic response and recovery plans and reinforced social protection to data collection “because we know that what we don’t do counts doesn’t count,” said the UN deputy chief.
Sparks of light
Turning to positive developments, she signaled that civil society and governments are finding new ways to work together to tackle the scourge.
She cited The Spotlight Initiative and Generation Equality Forum as “two successful examples of the positive impact of multilateralism and cooperation to end violence against women and girls”.
The Spotlight initiative has helped provide 1.6 million women and girls in more than 25 countries with services related to gender-based violence, and approximately 2.5 million young people have joined programs promoting gender equality norms and values.
“About 130 million people have been reached through campaigns to change behavior and mindset; and $179 million has been allocated to community organizations,” she informed participants.
As for last year’s Generation Equality forum, Ms Mohammed noted that it has launched an action coalition against gender-based violence, which has made more than 1,000 pledges across all priority areas.
These and other efforts “have never been more necessary,” she emphasized.
“At a time when women’s rights are under attack in many places around the world, we need to push back … to seize every opportunity to transform structures of inequality and discrimination and put us firmly on the path to gender equality,” the deputy secretary stressed. -General.
She called on Member States, civil society and private sector partners to take action against gender-based violence by investing in long-term prevention measures that address the root causes of violence.
“It is critical that strategies to prevent and end gender-based violence are part of all recovery efforts as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” she stated, adding that “leadership and action against violence against women and girls is needed.” are, now more than ever”.