Everyone has a responsibility to prevent and end violence against women and girls, starting by challenging the culture of discrimination that allows it to continue.
-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
What a staggering fact, knowing that one in three women has experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Violence against women impacts on, and hinders, progress in many areas, including poverty eradication, combating HIV/AIDS, peace and security. It is, indeed, an outbreak of worldwide proportions.
Unlike sickness, there is no vaccine, medication or cure in violence against women. It is a choice made and thus, perpetrators can choose to stop. It is not inevitable and it can be prevented through a united effort and joint collaboration from all stakeholders. Thus, it is a time to call all in joining the global efforts in the holistic prevention strategies which include multiple and parallel interventions in order for the results to last.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is observed yearly on the 25th of November to raise awareness and campaign to end violence against women. Since 1981, women's activists have marked 25th November as a day to stand against violence not only towards themselves but also women amongst their relatives, friends and society. Later on, in 1999, the UN General Assembly designated 25th November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, inviting public sector, international organisations and NGOs to organise activities designed to raise public awareness on the issue of violence.
Today, many efforts still need to be engaged towards a society where elimination of violence against women is undisputable. Towards such efforts, we, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), continue to partake in this global initiative for enlivening the principle of non-violence against women and promoting gender equality amongst young people.
We urge young women and men to step up striving to unveil their true potential and participate in the decision making process as part of the elimination of violence against women. We strive even harder to alleviate the hardships which are encountered by fellow women, around the world.
We also believe that prevention strategies should be holistic, with multiple interventions undertaken in parallel, in order to have long-lasting and permanent effects. Therefore, we encourage all sectors, actors and stakeholders, inclusive of young people, to be engaged.
Today, let us recall that action to eliminate violence against women is the responsibility of all. We invite young people to “Orange the world,” using the colour designated by the UNiTE campaign to symbolise a brighter future without violence.
Youth stand against violence and gender inequality!