International Women's Day

08 Mar 2013

This year, International Women’s Day focuses on fighting violence against women and girls.

Violence affects the lives of millions of women worldwide, in all socio-economic and educational classes. It cuts across cultural and religious barriers, impeding the right of women to participate fully in society.

Violence against women in the Arab World takes a dismaying variety of forms, from domestic abuse, honor killing and rape to child marriages and female circumcision. All are violations of the most fundamental human rights.

Globally, up to 60% of women experience some form of physical or sexual abuse during their life. 2 million women and girls are trafficked each year into prostitution, forced labour, slavery, or servitude.

Join us & help #stoptheviolence!


UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Antionio Banderas delivers a message for International Women's Day 2013, urging an end to violence against women and girls

Our Stories

  • Women and girls in El Fasher, North Darfur, march for “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence”. Photo by UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

    Legal aid help the vulnerable in Darfur protect their rights
    Darfur

    Women and girls continue to suffer from widespread insecurity in the conflict-ridden region of Darfur. For 13-year old Aisha, her childhood ended when she was brutally more

  • Opening of the new Family Protection Directorate in Baghdad. A representative from Ministry of Human Rights talks with police representatives from Ministry of Interior. (Photo: UNDP)

    Judicial security reforms take aim at gender-based violence
    Iraq

      10 February 2011   Baghdad – As it fights to improve security in the country as a whole, the Government of Iraq is also advancing more

Reports and Fast Facts
Video: Helen Clark's Statement on International Women's Day 2013
Gender in Somalia
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UNDP Somalia strives to address gender equality and women’s empowerment in an effective and coherent manner

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Highlights
  • In Darfur, rape cases constitute nearly 19 percent of the total criminal caseload, including some cases where the Government lifted immunity of law enforcement and military personnel
  • In Egypt, 85% of urban women aged 15 - 49 have been circumcised. More than half of all circumcised women aged 15 - 49 have been circumcised between the ages of 7 and 10
  • In Iraq, an estimated one in five women between the ages of 15 and 49 has suffered physical violence at the hands of her husband
  • More than a third of women living in the Gaza Strip are exposed to physical abuse in their homes, according to a 2011 violence survey by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). Almost 15 per cent are exposed to sexual abuse, and a staggering three-quarters experience psychological abuse
  • Over 17,000 Palestinians received legal aid in 2011 through six legal aid clinics. Women account for 88% of the visitors of the clinics, who receive free legal advice and are eligible to free legal representation by qualified lawyers.