• Thursday, Jan 21, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:56 am

UN expert stresses urgent action to end violence against women

  • Published at 06:13 pm November 24th, 2020
Brazil Women violence protest
People take part in a protest demanding safety for women, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on November 8, 2020 Reuters

During the past five years, a growing number of States have either established anti-femicide initiatives, and in an increasing number of countries

The Covid-19 is overshadowing what has become a “pandemic of femicide” and related gender-based violence against women and girls, said independent UN Human Rights expert Dubravka Simonovic, calling for the universal establishment of national initiatives to monitor and prevent such killings.  

She said the rise in femicides and violence was “taking the lives of women and girls everywhere” around the world, as the coronavirus continues to rage out of control.   

The UN expert called on “all States and relevant stakeholders worldwide to take urgent steps to prevent the pandemic of femicide or gender related killings of women, and gender-based violence against women, through the establishment of national multidisciplinary prevention bodies or Femicide watches/observatories on violence against women.”

Simonovic said those bodies should be mandated to collect comparable and disaggregated data on femicide or gender-related killings of women; conduct an analysis of femicide cases to determine shortcomings, and recommend measures for the prevention of such cases; and ensure that victims are not forgotten, by holding days of remembrance. 

According to data collected since 2015 though the Femicide Watch initiative, and data available from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), “among the victims of all intentional killings involving intimate partners, more than 80% of victims are women.”

During the past five years, a growing number of States have either established anti-femicide initiatives, and in an increasing number of countries, it is independent human rights institutions, civil society organizations, women’s groups, or academic institutions, that have established watches or observatories.   

In his statement to the High-Level Meeting on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women this past October, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for affirmative action to prevent violence against women, including femicide. 

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