Today marks the beginning of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The campaign begins on November 25th and ends on December 10th, Human Rights Day.
“The statistics almost defy belief. What is even harder to understand is why: why men prey on women and girls; why societies shame the victims, why governments fail to punish deadly crimes, why the world denies itself the fruits of women’s full participation,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a press conference. This past Monday, the United Nations hosted an Orange the World event at UN Headquarters in New York to raise money to end violence against women and girls, and kick off 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.
Violence against women and girls is still a global pandemic. Around the globe, 1 in 3 women have experienced either sexual or physical violence. 2 in 3 women are victims of intimate partner or family homicide. Millions of girls are subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and sexual harassment.
All of these actions of violence violates the basic civil rights of women and girls, from health to security to quality of life. It is argued that when a country ignores civil rights it can negatively effect national budgets by causing higher expenses.
It can be difficult to figure out the societal factors that cause violence against women but lack of education, alcohol and drug abuse and child abuse are factors. One of the most important factor on this continuation is the acceptance of gender inequality.
This day is important for female Veterans as well, especially in the United States. Female military members experience sexual abuse while in the military and will continue to suffer with PTSD due to the abuse. A survey done by Veterans Affairs found that 1 in 4 women said they experienced sexual harassment or assault.
Devil Dog USA, Inc knows the importance of including female Veterans in the conversation on issues that Veterans face. Our Womens Advocate is Lisa Spencer who can be contacted here.