Press conference by Sarah Hendriks, Director for the Programme, Policy and Intergovernmental Division at UN Women, and Delphine Schantz, Head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Office in New York, briefed reporters ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is observed on November 25th.
Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, observed on November 25th, a new report by UN Women and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) indicates that more than five women or girls are killed every hour by someone in their own family.
Presenting the report today (23 Nov) in New York, the Director for the Program, Policy and Intergovernmental Division of UN Women, Sarah Hendriks, said “femicide rates remain at alarming levels,” and stressed that “behind every data point, behind every statistical point, is actually a lived life. It’s actually a real woman or girl whose life has been very brutally and often very abruptly ended just because she is a woman.”
Delphine Schantz, who is the Head of UNODC’s office in New York said, “globally, there is an estimated of about 81,000 women and girls who are victims of homicides in 2021. The majority of those homicides have been femicide, which means that there was a gender related motivation behind these killings.”
Hendriks said, “today’s women’s rights organizations are operating in an increasingly, increasingly complex environment where they’re facing threats to their very survival, where they’re facing a significant shrinking space for civil society, and where there’s a growing backlash against civil society and against women’s rights in particular.”
She told reporters, “in my life, I’ve known four different women who’ve been killed by gender related femicide. And in each of these situations, it was not recorded as a femicide. And so, this approach to shifting the statistical gathering of this data is absolutely critical to be able to track and understand that context, because context matters.”
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women will mark the launch of the UNiTE campaign (Nov 25- Dec 10) — an initiative of 16 days of activism concluding on the day that commemorates the International Human Rights Day (10 December).
This campaign, led by the UN Secretary-General and UN Women since 2008, aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world, calling for global action to increase awareness, promote advocacy and create opportunities for discussion on challenges and solutions.
This years’ campaign UNITE! Activism to End Violence against Women & Girls will aim to mobilize all society to become activists for the prevention of violence against women, to stand in solidarity with women’s rights activists and to support feminist movements around the world to resist the rollback on women’s rights and calling for a world free from Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).