The United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launched a campaign last week during the UN’s 52nd Commission on the Status of Women that seeks an to end violence against women. The campaign, called UNite to End Violence against Women, will run until 2015 and calls for the cooperation of the UN, national governments, and society in general to end global violence against women. The Secretary General intends for UNite to build on the advances that the UN has already made toward ending violence against women and to harness the energy and momentum present in the Commission so that the international community can continue to make progress in the fight against violence.
Secretary General Ban said in his opening address, “Violence against women is an issue that cannot wait. A brief look at the statistics makes it clear. At least one out of every three women is likely to be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Through the practice of prenatal sex selection, countless others are denied the right even to exist. No country, no culture, no woman young or old is immune to this scourge. Far too often, the crimes go unpunished, the perpetrators walk free.”
The UN’s 52nd Commission on the Status of Women has been in session since Feb. 24, and will continue until March 7. March 8 is International Women’s Day and will be used by the UN to focus on women’s achievements in the face of the challenges that face them. Throughout the 2008 session, the UN has focused on “Investing in Women,” the slogan for this year’s International Women’s Day.