The United Nations announced Tuesday $10.5 million in new grants to bolster international efforts to end violence against women.
The funds, which were announced in honor of the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women today, will assist 13 initiatives in 18 countries and territories. The UN Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women, overseen by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), will disperse the grants.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged governments and international organizations to strengthen their work on gender-based violence, and emphasized the prevalence of such violence:
“Some 70 percent of women experience in their lifetime some form of physical or sexual violence from men — the majority from husbands, intimate partners or someone they know. This is unacceptable,” he said.
The UN also launched on Tuesday the Network of Men Leaders, a coalition of public and private leaders working to stop violence against women. Prominent members of the Network include Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and Brazilian novelist and UN Messenger of Peace Paulo Coelho.
US Vice President Joseph Biden called on Americans to join international efforts to stop violence against women, in a statement released today. “Violence against women is found in every culture around the world. It is one of our most pervasive global problems,” he said.
The US is leading UN efforts to end the use of rape as a tactic of war, according to Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is working with the UN Security Council to increase prevention efforts against sexual violence and hold perpetrators accountable, she said.