The United Nations estimates that up to seven in ten women globally will be beaten, raped, abused, or mutilated in their lifetimes, and most of this violence takes place in intimate relationships. Not only is violence against women and girls a gross human rights violation, it has enormous social, economic and productivity costs for individuals, families, communities and societies.
Sustained advocacy by women’s organization and civil society groups on the issue of violence against women has helped bring attention to changes to the status of women globally. Much progress has happened over the last few decades. Today, there are international agreements and treaties specifically aimed at giving women and girls the respect, dignity, choices and freedom that every human being should enjoy. Important steps have been taken globally and locally to end violence against women. More than 125 countries have specific laws that penalize domestic violence. However, over 600 million women live in countries where it is not considered a crime.
Much more needs to be done and with greater attention, advocacy and determined leadership it is possible to end this pandemic.