Helen Clark: Statement on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Nov 25, 2015


Violence against women occurs on every continent and in every country, making it one of the most pervasive human rights violations around the world.  

The statistics are disheartening: 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner. 

It is therefore of enormous importance that the elimination of violence against women and girls and of all harmful practices against women and girls is part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and is included in specific targets in the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals. 

Today the United Nations will launch a framework aimed at preventing violence against women. Much action to date has been focused on providing services and support to victims of violence against women. The new framework’s preventive approach includes addressing gender inequality, discriminatory practices, and harmful cultural and social norms as root causes of the problem. It aims to tackle violence against women in all its forms, from domestic violence to rape as a weapon of war, child marriage, and female genital mutilation, among others.

UNDP’s work to support the elimination of violence against women is central to our development mandate. Together with UN partners, we provide policy advice and support to countries to adopt and enforce national laws addressing and punishing all forms of violence against women and girls. 

We work to ensure women’s access to justice and legal aid – to ensure that survivors of violence have access to the legal services and support they need, and to ensure that perpetrators know that there will be no impunity for acts of violence against women. 

We also work to improve women’s security and access to justice in conflict and post-conflict countries. 

I invite you to join me today in speaking out against violence against women, and joining efforts to ensure that women and girls everywhere can live free of violence.

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Helen Clark became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization. She also chairs the United Nations Development Group.

Full Biography