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 United Nations Secretary-General's Campaign
to End Violence Against Women

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.

SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

Latest News

UN Women Head Raises Alarm on Insecurity Facing Somali Refugee Women and Girls in Kenya

5 April 2011 – UN Women Executive Director Ms. Michelle Bachelet has raised concerns over insecurity facing Somali women and girls in refugee camps in Kenya.

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Survivors of Sexual Violence Testify Before the African Union Peace and Security Council

31 March 2011 – Survivors of sexual violence from across Africa took to the floor 28 March to speak of their personal experiences and put forward their recommendations for action at the African Union Peace and Security Council’s Second Open Session on Sexual Violence, Women and Children in Armed Conflict.

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UN envoy on sexual violence welcomes African commitment to eradicating the vice

31 March 2011 – The United Nations envoy on sexual violence in conflict today underlined the role of the African leadership in combating sexual violence in the continent, and welcomed the commitment expressed by the African Union (AU) to ensure that the problem is eradicated.

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El Salvador: Women in parliament unite on new law against violence

21 March 2011 – A groundbreaking law aimed at halting high levels of violence against women in El Salvador, the Central American country with the world’s highest rates for murder of women, was officially made public last week following approval five months ago by the overwhelming majority of members of the national legislative assembly.

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UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Releases Annual Report 2010

16 March 2011 – The 2010 Annual Report of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) highlights innovative programmes and promising practices in the field of ending violence against women and girls. Results described in this report focus on the UN Trust Fund’s investments in three priority areas: prevention, expanding access to survivor services, and strengthening implementation of laws, policies and action plans.

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From council chambers of New York to battle front of Darfur, UN marks Women’s Day

8 March 2011 – About one in four Belarusian women aged 18-60 are subjected to physical abuse from their spouses or partners, according to a survey organized by the United Nations Office in Belarus. But a wide-ranging campaign that involves celebrities, experts, activists, journalists, bloggers, musicians and actors from a number of Russian-speaking countries aims to change that.

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Branding Domestic Violence as a ‘Weapon of the Weak’ in Belarus

4 March 2011 – About one in four Belarusian women aged 18-60 are subjected to physical abuse from their spouses or partners, according to a survey organized by the United Nations Office in Belarus. But a wide-ranging campaign that involves celebrities, experts, activists, journalists, bloggers, musicians and actors from a number of Russian-speaking countries aims to change that.

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Rape victims in DR Congo need compensation

3 March 2011 – Women who have been raped in the Democratic Republic of the Congo should receive compensation as they continue to suffer from deep social stigmas and terrible neglect.

This is the conclusion of a new report by a United Nations three-member panel following a 17-day visit to the country from 30 September to 10 October last year.

During the visit to seven locations in three different provinces and the capital Kinshasa, the panel heard directly from 61 survivors of sexual violence ranging in age from three years old to 61 years old, including four male victims.

Kyung-wha Kang, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights and a member of the panel, says the rape victims they met are suffering greatly, physically, psychologically and materially.

"This victimization is compounded by the stigma they often face in families and communities. Rejected by their husbands and socially ostracized, victims of sexual violence are left to fend for themselves, often living on the streets. Their stigmatization is further compounded by fistula, pregnancy resulting from rape and the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS."

DR Congo mass rape verdicts send strong signal to perpetrators – UN envoy

21 February 2011 – A senior United Nations official has welcomed today's verdicts by a military court in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which mark the first time that a high-ranking commander and several other army personnel were arrested, tried and sentenced for conflict-related sexual violence in the strife-torn nation.

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DR Congo: UN helps provide psychotherapy, training for rape victims

10 February 2011 – As part of its campaign against rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the United Nations and its partners this week opened a centre in the eastern city of Bukavu to provide a safe haven and training programmes for survivors of sexual violence.

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UN envoy urges protection from sexual violence amid Côte d'Ivoire crisis

27 January 2011 – The United Nations envoy on sexual violence in conflict has called on authorities in Côte d'Ivoire to swiftly investigate reported rapes that have occurred during the post-election crisis and to ensure better protection for women and girls in the West African nation.

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Number of alleged rapes in DR Congo over New Year period rises – UN

25 January 2011 – Army soldiers allegedly raped at least 67 women over the New Year period in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), more than double the number originally thought, United Nations human rights investigators have found.

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From fighting poverty to building a safer world, UN chief outlines priorities for 2011

14 January 2011 – From promoting sustainable development and mitigating climate change to empowering women to keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today laid out the United Nations agenda for the coming year.

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UN backs efforts against gender-based violence in southern Africa

6 January 2011 – In an effort to help law enforcement agencies in southern Africa respond to gender-based violence effectively, the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said today that it has launched a handbook and a training curriculum to improve the capacity of national police forces in the region to combat the problem.

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Interview with Paulo Coelho, UN Messenger of Peace

22 December 2010 – Brazilian author Paulo Coelho has enchanted readers with his best-selling books such as “The Alchemist” and “The Pilgrimage.” The winner of numerous awards for his works, which have been translated into more than 65 languages, Mr. Coelho uses his global appeal to help underprivileged men and women in Brazil and around the world. For this, the Rio de Janeiro native was designated as a UN Messenger of Peace in September 2007. He also works with UNESCO as a Special Counselor for Intercultural Dialogues and Spiritual Convergences, and is part of the UN’s “Network of Men Leaders” tasked with helping to end violence against women. The UN News Centre spoke to Mr. Coelho about building bridges between people and cultures, and his work with the UN.

Secretary-General calls for additional steps to fight sexual violence in conflict

8 December 2010 – Faced with rampant sexual violence in conflicts around the world, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for additional steps to enhance protection, including increased pressure on perpetrators through sanctions and other targeted measures.

UNiTE Campaign to End Violence against Women Launches in Asia-Pacific Region

8 December 2010 - The United Nations Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women kicked off in the Asia-Pacific region on 25 November 2010 at a high-profile event in Bangkok, Thailand.

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UN calls on corporate sector to help eliminate violence against women

23 November 2010 – The corporate sector must engage more closely in the fight against the global pandemic of violence against women and girls, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, stressing the importance role of business leaders in eliminating the scourge.

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Secretary-General Ban calls on corporate sector to help end violence against women and girls

25 November 2010 – "As we observe the 2010 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, let us acknowledge the widespread and growing efforts to address this important issue.  No longer are women’s organizations alone.  From Latin America to the United States, from Asia to Africa, men and boys, young and old, musicians, celebrities and sports personalities, the media, public and private organizations, and ordinary citizens are doing more to protect women and girls and promote their empowerment and rights."

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DR Congo: UN helps seize rebel leader presumed responsible for mass rape

5 October 2010 – United Nations peacekeepers and Government forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) today seized one of the rebel leaders suspected of being behind the mass rape of more than 300 civilians two months ago in the country’s east.

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UNiTE Caribbean launched in Barbados

11 October 2010 – The Caribbean component of UN Secretary General Ban  Ki-moon’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign was launched today in Barbados, during a conference coordinated by UN resident coordinators from across the region.

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DR Congo: UN helps seize rebel leader presumed responsible for mass rape

5 October 2010 – United Nations peacekeepers and Government forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) today seized one of the rebel leaders suspected of being behind the mass rape of more than 300 civilians two months ago in the country’s east.

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Culture of non-violence starts with communities and individuals, Ban says

October 1, 2010 – The work of creating and sustaining a culture of peace and non-violence begins in the hearts of committed men and women, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a message marking the International Day of Non-Violence.

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NEPAL: Pushing Back against Domestic Violence

September 28, 2010 – Across Nepal, which has declared 2010 the year to end gender-based violence, women continue to fall victim. The village of Shipawa is one Nepalese community in which the issue is particularly apparent.

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Senior UN official in DR Congo to investigate mass rape of civilians

September 28, 2010 – A leading United Nations official in the fight against sexual violence during conflict began a week-long visit to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) today to coordinate a response to the mass rape by rebels of more than 300 civilians two months ago in the country’s east.

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Haiti: UN launches new campaign against rape and gender-based violence

September 13, 2010 – The United Nations has launched a new operation to combat rape and gender violence in Haiti, where some 1.3 million people were made homeless by January’s devastating earthquake, with the majority still living in camps.

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DRC: For Rape Victims, Food Aid Key To Healing Process

September 3, 2010 – Civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo has led to an outbreak of sexual violence, with over 17,500 women raped last year. By drawing women to health centres and providing nourishment for them and their children, food aid has proved to be a key part of the healing process.

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INDONESIA: Female Genital Mutilation Persists Despite Ban

September 2, 2010 – Though the Indonesian government banned female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) four years ago, experts say religious support for the practice is more fervent than ever, particularly in rural communities.

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Security Council condemns mass rape in DR Congo

August 26, 2010 – Members of the Security Council today voiced outrage at the recent mass rape of civilians by members of armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and repeated their demand that parties to the conflict there cease all forms of sexual violence and other human rights violations.

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Venezuela: UN agency provides training to help combat sexual violence

August 25, 2010 – A United Nations-backed project in Venezuela has trained dozens of government officials and security force members on how to prevent sexual and gender-based violence and provide better care and protection for victims.

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ETHIOPIA: Empowering Women to Fight FGM/C

August 19, 2010 – In the north-eastern Ethiopian region of Afar, more than 91 percent of women undergo one of the most severe forms of genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Reproductive health education however, seems to be paying off, with the number of girls affected reducing, albeit gradually.

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UN NEWS CENTRE
UN confirms reported gang rape of women by rebels in DRC Congo

August 23, 2010 – A United Nations human rights team has confirmed that members of two armed groups in the volatile east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) raped more than 150 women during an attack on a village in North Kivu province last month, a UN spokesperson said today.

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UNIFEM Partners with ECOWAS on Ending Violence against Women in West Africa

August 19, 2010 – A consultative meeting between UNIFEM (part of UN Women) and the Human Development and Gender Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was held in Abuja, Nigeria on 17 August, on a programme to end violence against women in the ECOWAS sub-region.

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UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman and Executive Director Inés Alberdi in Haiti Stress Women’s Equality as Central for Recovery

July 30, 2010 – During a visit that concluded today, Inés Alberdi, Executive Director of the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM, part of UN Women) and UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman have called for the urgent need to address gender-based violence among affected populations, and stressed the critical need to support long-term initiatives that advance women’s livelihoods as part of the rebuilding efforts. In Haiti, Ms. Alberdi and Ms. Kidman met with survivors of violence living in a temporary camp, with Haitian and UN officials, and with national non-governmental organizations working to support women’s needs in recovery efforts after the devastating earthquake.

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UN experts review efforts of eight nations to eliminate discrimination against women

12 July 2010 – A meeting of the United Nations committee on the elimination of discrimination against women opened in New York today to look into the situation of women in eight countries, including Papua New Guinea, which will be reviewed for the first time, and India, which will be examined on an exceptional basis.

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In historic move, UN creates single entity to promote women’s empowerment

2 July 2010 – In a bid to accelerate the empowerment of women, the General Assembly today voted unanimously to create a dynamic new entity merging four United Nations offices focusing on gender equality, a move hailed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other senior officials.

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UN releases practical toolkit on how to deter sexual violence in war

30 June 2010 – From peacekeepers in Darfur escorting women and girls to prevent “firewood rapes” to blue helmets in Kosovo setting up an emergency hotline for at-risk communities and lone women, the United Nations launched today its first compilation of the best practices of its staff to prevent, deter and respond to the use of rape as a war tactic.

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Top UN envoy calls for dialogue to curb violence against Timorese women

10 June 2010 – The top United Nations envoy to Timor-Leste has underscored the need for dialogue to bring an end to gender-based violence in the fledgling South-East Asian nation.

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UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman Raises More Than US$175,000 for UNIFEM’s Programmes in China

20 May 2010 - At a charity fundraiser in Hong Kong on 20 May, UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador and Say NO Spokesperson Nicole Kidman raised more than US$175,000 for programmes to address violence against women and women’s empowerment in China.

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WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA: Ending the silence on violence in schools

DAKAR, 20 May 2010 - Bullying, sexual violence and corporal punishment are still rife in West and Central African schools, according to an 18 May report which calls on governments to harmonize laws on child protection and education, and impose stricter standards on schools to reduce violence.

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After the earthquake, protecting Haitian women and girls from violence

29 March 2010 - The effects of the earthquake that struck Haiti some two and a half months ago have reverberated across the country. Both in and beyond the capital, Port-au-Prince, progress made in tackling long-standing human rights issues – including the problem of gender-based violence against women and girls – seems a distant memory.

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Rape must never be minimized as part of cultural traditions, UN envoy says

25 March 2010 - Sexual violence during conflicts is all too often downplayed and treated as part of local cultural traditions instead of being viewed as a war crime, a senior United Nations official has warned as she called for much greater international action to defeat the scourge.

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Victims of violence against women must be supported, perpetrators punished - Ban

11 March 2010 - Violence against women devastates individuals and societies alike, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, calling for united action to demand accountability, end impunity and support the victims of this global scourge.

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UNIFEM launches online tool to help end violence against women

5 March 2010 - The UN estimates that one in 3 women experiences physical or sexual violence. The UN Secretary-General's UNiTE campaign seeks to galvanize action across the UN system to prevent violence against women.

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High Commissioner for Human Rights speaks out against domestic violence and "honour killing"

4 March 2010 - "It has been estimated that as many as one in three women across the world has been beaten, raped or otherwise abused during the course of her lifetime. And the most common source of such violence comes from within the family. Amongst the most extreme forms of abuse is what is known as 'honour killing'."

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UNIFEM’s Say NO - UNiTE Platform Registers More than 180,000 Actions on Ending Violence against Women

2 March 2010 - The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) today announced that it has recorded 183,132 actions to end violence against women through its Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women initiative.

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Deputy Secretary-General, in Address to Commission on Status of Women, Cites Endemic Sexual Violence, Gaps between Equality Legislation, Implementation

1 March 2010 - UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro’s remarks at the opening of the fifty-fourth session of the Commission on the Status of Women, in New York, 1 March

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Curbing sexual violence in conflict is ‘mission irresistible’ for new UN envoy

9 February 2010 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s newly appointed Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict promised today a more coherent and effective battle against the scourge, citing recent mass rapes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and calling her new task "mission irresistible."

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UN officials urge redoubled efforts to end female genital mutilation

6 February 2010 - While there has been progress in reducing the incidence of female genital mutilation or cutting in several countries, there are still three million girls who continue to be at risk each year, United Nations officials warned today, calling for redoubled efforts to end this harmful practice.

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UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman Applauds US Congressional Support to Combat Violence against Women Globally

9 February 2010 - In a decisive move to combat violence against women globally, the International Violence against Women Act (IVAWA) was today introduced in both Houses of the United States Congress.

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UNODC: Human trafficking fuels violence against women

25 November 2009 - As the world marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, UNODC is drawing attention to how human trafficking fuels violence against women

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UNICEF: Somali communities say no to female genital cutting

NAIROBI, Kenya, 14 December 2009 – Last month, hundreds of men, women and children gathered in a Somali stadium in the early morning heat to witness a historic declaration: the collective abandonment of female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) by representatives from 20 communities.

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16 days of activism against violence against women in Burundi

The ceremonies took place in Mwaro Province on 25 November 2009, under the national theme, “Men and Women, UNiTE to End Volence Against Women”. 

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Women still suffer discrimination 30 years after global treaty banned it - UN chief

3 December 2009 – Thirty years after an international treaty banning discrimination against women came into force, women and girls are still suffering from the scourge, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned today.

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Ghana UNiTE Group to end violence against women launched

Ghana UNiTE Group to end violence against women launchedThe group pledged to act as advocate and to speak out against maltreatment meted out against women and girls. They set goals which they promised to achieve by 2015.

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Ban launches new Network of Men Leaders to combat violence against women

24 November 2009

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today marked the 10th anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by launching a Network of Men Leaders, a major new initiative bringing together current and former politicians, activists, religious and community figures to combat the global pandemic.

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