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11/25/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/25/2021 05:08

Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ghada Waly: Statement for 2021 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

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UNIS/CP/1130
25 November 2021

Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ghada Waly:

Statement for 2021 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

25 November 2021

Every 11 minutes, a woman or girl is killed by someone in her own family.

In 2020, 47,000 women and girls worldwide died at the hands of intimate partners or other family members, according to new data released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Despite accounting for only one-fifth of homicide victims overall, 58 percent of victims of intimate and family homicide are women and girls.

Data on gender-based violence remains limited in many regions, but the available evidence on the killing of women and girls at the hands of intimate partners or other family members suggests that the situation has not improved over the past decade.

The COVID-19 pandemic has set women and women's rights further back, and left those vulnerable to gender-based violence with less recourse to essential support and services, and restricted access to justice.

Urgent action is needed to prevent gender-based violence and safeguard the lives and rights of women and girls. Long-term strategies to prevent gender-related killings by addressing harmful social norms that normalize violence against women must be combined with concrete and immediate measures to protect women and girls in situations of risk, especially in situations of domestic abuse.

On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the 16 days of activism, let us pledge to step up efforts to promote greater access to justice and to scale up gender-responsive policing; ensure the continuity and accessibility of health and social services for women and girls; and improve data collection.

I urge all Member States to invest in evidence-based prevention of gender-based violence, in line with the UN system RESPECT framework and the UN Joint Global Programme on Essential Services, as an investment in gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, in sustainable development and an inclusive future that leaves no one behind.

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