Creating a world that works for everyone cannot go forward where institutionalized violence against a social group is tolerated. Yet in many countries, violence against women is practiced – and tolerated even by the courts. Taking Action was a Millennium Project aimed at focusing on the mainsprings of gender inequality and prescribing remedial action. The Nova Earth Society believes that it’s up to us to create a world that works. It has taken up the drive for gender equality as a demonstration project in creating a world that works.
Taking Action: Achieving Gender Equality and Empowering Women
Task Force for Gender Equality
London: United Nations Development Programme, 2005.
Chapter 9. Combat violence against women
Violence against women occurs in epidemic proportions in many countries around the world. In surveys conducted in various countries between 10 and 69 percent of women report having experienced domestic violence (which is only one form of violence against women; see Heise, Ellsberg, and Gottemoeller 1999).
Violence against women has serious health and development impacts and is a gross violation of women’s rights. Its continued existence is fundamentally inconsistent with Goal 3. Although no single intervention will eliminate violence against women, a combination of infrastructural, legal, judicial, enforcement, educational, health, and other service-related actions can significantly reduce it and its consequences. For that to happen, however, violence against women must first be viewed as unacceptable. A global campaign to establish this norm, combined with a scaling-up of community-based interventions and analyses that document the costs of violence against women, is needed if violence against women is to become a rare occurrence rather than a global epidemic.
Why combating violence against women is a strategic priority
Gender inequality perpetuates violence against women, and violence against women restricts women’s ability to use their capabilities and take advantage of opportunities, thereby reinforcing gender inequality.1 Worldwide, it is estimated that violence against women is as serious a cause of death and incapacity among reproductive-age women as is cancer, and it is a more common cause of ill-health among women than traffic accidents and malaria combined.
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