New Report: UN Expert Demands Transformative Efforts to End Violence Against Women
Friday, June 20, 2014 9:30 AM

Twenty years after the UN General Assembly issued the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Majoo, is calling for stronger efforts to fight gender-based violence acround the world. In her most recent report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur stated that significant challenges remain in elminating violence against women and achieving the Declaration’s goals.  She highlighted the “persisting public/private dichotomy in responses to violence against women; the shift in focus to a men and boys agendas; the failure of states to act with due diligence; and the lack of transformative remedies to address the root causes of violence against women.” 

She advocated for an international, legally binding agreement, laying out how to address and respond to violence against women effectively, in a way that respects women's human rights. She also urged state actors to make violence against women a national priority and to assess the flaws in the international system for addressing violence against women. She called for increased monitoring, evaluation and accountability for these crimes against women and girls.

To illustrate her points, the Special Rapporteur noted that extreme austerity measures in places like Europe have a disproportionate effect on women, impacting quality and access to services for victims of violence as well as “poverty reduction measures, employment opportunities and benefit schemes.”  Furthermore, a serious lack of opportunities and resources can hinder a women’s ability to leave an abusive relationship, perpetuating the cycle of violence.  The issue of violence and sexual violence against older women, who are largely more vulnerable and at risk “due to widespread discriminatory attitudes and practices,” was highlighted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in his address on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Compiled from: United Nations Expert Calls For Stronger Laws To Fight Violence Against Women Worldwide,  UNOG (June 16, 2014); Times Change, Violence Remains, The United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (June 17, 2014); UN expert calls for a stronger laws to fight violence against women worldwide, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (June 16, 2014).