Violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of equality, development and peace. It both violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. In all societies, to a greater or lesser degree, women and girls are subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse that cuts across lines of income, class and culture. It is an inescapable reality of women’s lives, as the social customs and  attitudes that support violence against them are entrenched and institutionalised at all levels home, family, community, society, and the State. Violence against women takes many forms – physical, sexual, psychological and economic. These forms of violence are interrelated and affect women from before birth to old age. Some types of violence, such as trafficking, cross national boundaries. Forced and unregistered marriages can increase the vulnerability of women to violence, including sexual violence. The practice of early marriage – a form of sexual violence – is common worldwide, with more than 60 million girls worldwide married before the age of 18, primarily in South Asia (31.1million)

A WHO multi-country study found that between 15–71% of women aged 15- 49 years reported physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. According to a UN study over 59 per cent of women, depending on where they live, experience physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime. Around 120 million girls worldwide (slightly more than 1 in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives. On average, at least one in three women is beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner in the course of her lifetime. One in every two women in South Asia faces violence in her home. Is it not for us to raise our voice and stop this violence?

Let us take a pledge and say NO to violence.


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