Sunday, 25 November 2007

25th November is the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women

UN rights chief calls for end to violence against women

GENEVA (AFP) — The top United Nations human rights official urged states worldwide to take more action against rape, domestic abuse and all other forms of violence against women.

"Every day, in all corners of the world, countless women and girls are killed, mutilated, beaten, raped, sold into sexual slavery or tortured," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said in a statement ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25.

"This impunity is built on a foundation of discrimination and inequality ... unless these inequalities are addressed, including in the economic and social spheres, the violence will persist," Arbour said.

"A woman will not report rape if we continue to stigmatise the victims of violence rather than the perpetrators," she added.

Just last week, a court in Saudi Arabia sentenced a woman who had been gang-raped to six months in jail and 200 lashes after she spoke to the media about the case.

"We must demand that states honour their commitments to bring perpetrators to justice and provide redress for their victims," Arbour urged.

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