The Global Initiative to End Violence Against Women aims to combat the pervasive issue of violence against women, with nearly one in three women worldwide having experienced physical or sexual violence. The initiative calls for robust legal protections, comprehensive data, and a unified effort to address this global problem, highlighting the need for enhanced legislative action, improved gathering of statistical data, and the inclusion of gender considerations in all matters affecting women’s lives.
What is the global prevalence of violence against women?
Nearly one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, with an estimated 736 million women subjected to such violence by intimate partners or non-partners. This underscores the need for robust legal protections, comprehensive data, and a unified effort to combat this pervasive issue.
In a significant address, Ombudswoman Maria Stylianou-Lottides highlighted the pervasive issue of violence against women on a global scale. Her statement commemorated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and drew attention to the alarming statistic that nearly one in three women worldwide have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence in their lives.
The Stark Reality of Gender-Based Violence
Stylianou-Lottides cited data indicating that an estimated 736 million women have been subjected to violence, either by an intimate partner, through non-partner sexual violence, or both. This staggering figure underscores the widespread nature of gender-based violence, transcending cultural, geographic, and socioeconomic boundaries.
Legislative Action and Persistent Gaps in Cyprus
While Cyprus has made strides with new laws and policies promoting gender equality, the Ombudswoman identified several areas in need of improvement. Among these are the gathering and leveraging of statistical data, interagency collaboration, professional training, and the inclusion of gender considerations in all matters affecting women’s lives.
A Call for Enhanced Legal Protections
Further highlighting the plight of women, Stylianou-Lottides noted that the majority of women and girls live without robust legal protections against violence, or reside in countries lacking comprehensive data on the issue. She emphasized that the silence, stigma, and shame surrounding violence contribute to its underreporting and the perpetuation of impunity for perpetrators.
Aligning with Sustainable Development Goals
The Ombudswoman made a connection between ending gender-based violence and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the goal of substantive gender equality. She called for commitments to prevent and eradicate violence against women as an integral part of fulfilling their human rights.
Recent Advances and Challenges in Cyprus
Stylianou-Lottides acknowledged recent progress in Cyprus, such as the enactment of the Law for the Prevention and Combating of Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence in 2021. She stressed the need for concerted efforts to dismantle stereotypes, secure women’s rights to support and protection, and provide educational and judicial resources.
Justice Ministry’s Role and Initiatives
Justice Minister Anna Procopiou addressed the issue, championing strong legislation and victim-centered policies. The ministry is focusing on training healthcare workers and developing comprehensive strategies for violence prevention. Efforts to create a unified database for gender-based violence statistics are also in progress.
Gender-Based Violence: A Spectrum of Abuse
Procopiou elaborated on the various forms of abuse encompassing violence against women, including physical, psychological, economic, and online threats, highlighting femicide as the most extreme form. She called for immediate action to foster collaboration among all relevant entities to ensure effective implementation of legislation and support tools.
The Role of Gender Equality Commissioner
Josie Christodoulou, the Gender Equality Commissioner, shed light on the continuous violations of women’s rights and the urgent need to address the global problem of violence in all its forms. She also pointed out the troubling use of women and girls in conflicts and acts of terrorism, urging a collective response and increased awareness.
- Nearly one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, highlighting the need for robust legal protections and comprehensive data.
- Violence against women is a pervasive issue that transcends cultural, geographic, and socioeconomic boundaries, with an estimated 736 million women subjected to violence.
- Cyprus has made progress with new laws promoting gender equality, but there are still gaps in areas such as statistical data gathering, interagency collaboration, and gender considerations in all matters affecting women’s lives.
- The majority of women and girls live without robust legal protections against violence and reside in countries lacking comprehensive data on the issue, perpetuating underreporting and impunity for perpetrators.
- Ending gender-based violence is connected to achieving sustainable development goals, and commitments to prevent and eradicate violence against women are essential for fulfilling human rights.