'We strongly condemn all forms of violence against women in Africa. Whether domestic violence or rape and killings in some parts of the continent in conflict, ..... There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Violence against women is the most shameful human rights violation. Gender based violence not only violates human rights, but also hampers productivity, reduces human capital and undermines economic growth. It is estimated that up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime. This horrible act occurs everywhere - at home, at schools, at work, in the streets and it happens both in peacetime and wartime.
Violence against women takes many forms: psychological; physical; economic; and social. It includes acts such as: female genitale mutilation, marital rape, forced marriage, sexual harassment, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, trafficking, prostitution, intimidation at work and in educational institutions. use of rape as war weapon in conflict zones.
In war zones it is more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier and rape is being used as war weapon to terrorise populations. It is clear that most of these violations remain unpunished and perpetrators rely on the culture of unpunity to commit these acts.
All of us – men and women, soldiers and peacekeepers, citizens and leaders – have a responsibility to help end violence against women.UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
For more information on violence against women, please visit the following websites: