This year’s Woman’s International Day theme is that it is time for action to stop violence against women.
In researching IWD I came across alarming statistics.
- Up to 70% of women will at some point in their lives experience physical and/or sexual violence. Scary isn’t it.
- Violence against women has a marked affect on the economy. It costs the US around $5.8 billion a year.
- Violence against women is predictable if we study a range of issues. Economic, social, cultural, legal factors all influence the prevalence of violence.
- Violence against women increases their risk of contacting HIV.
- Both the physical health and the mental health of women who experience violence can deteriorate and affect their long term health.
- Children who witness this violence have more social, emotional, behavioural, cognitive and general health problems than children who do not.
- One in four women are abused during pregnancy.
- During armed conflicts women are vulnerable to sexual abuse.
- In many areas of our world customs keep women silent and accepting of violence.
- In Africa three million girls each year are at risk of suffering from genital mutilation.
- Violence is one of the main reason that girls leave school. Remember Malala Yousafzai.
International Women’s Day began over 100 years ago and still we are fighting for basic rights for some women. Protection against violence being one of the most basic and sadly the most needed.
As a mother of a daughter I have watched tumble her way to adulthood I give thanks that she has known safety. That she did not grow up under a blanket of fear, ignorance and mistrust. That she did not know violence. And every day I pray that this will remain so. For here in New Zealand the statistics are frightening as well.
- One in three Kiwi women suffer psychological or physical violence in their lifetime.
- NZ Police attend about 200 domestic violence call outs a day.
- It is estimated that only 18% of domestic violence incidents are ever reported.
- In 2011-2012 on average 230 women and children were provided help by the Women’s Refuge as they did not feel safe in their homes…every night. That is almost 90,000.
It is time we all stood up and said enough is enough. Standing by is no longer an option. There is always something we can do. Speak out, reach out, stand up for those that cannot yet stand up for themselves.
Today a bunch of women are doing just that. UN Women has brought together artists from around the globe. Together they are spreading the message of solidarity with the song “One Woman”. To learn more about the message, the song, and how you can spread the word I urge you to visit “One Woman”. Tweet about it, facebook about it, blog about it being available today.
Then perhaps you can go and spend time with a woman you love and care about. It is what I plan to do today. And together celebrate all the women who won’t have that option.
- International Women’s Day / Mali: Women’s rights must be at the core of the transition (appablog.wordpress.com)
- Delhi braveheart figures in U.N. Women’s Day message (thehindu.com)
- International Women’s Day 2013 (number10.gov.uk)
- Three fourths of domestic violence victims are women – NSO (timesofmalta.com)
- Musings on Peace…