UN Special Rapporteur Urges States to Work to Eliminate Violence against Women
Monday, October 24, 2011 11:25 AM

The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, spoke to the UN General Assembly regarding the continued prevalence of violence against women. Manjoo stressed the importance of States’ roles in protecting women from violence. All forms of violence against women “are simultaneously causes and consequences of discrimination, inequality and oppression.” Furthermore, Manjoo stated that securing human rights for women is “a collective endeavour” that States have an obligation to fulfill under international law.

Silvia Pimentel, Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), echoed this concern regarding the pervasiveness of violence against women in much of the world. In particular, she stated that conflict disproportionately affects women and “women and girls’ bodies have become part of the battleground.” 

The Chairperson noted that many States party to CEDAW have made positive improvements in furthering the rights of women. Though implementation of gender equality laws remains an issue, there have been positive gains for women in areas such as political participation, education, and employment. These trends are tempered by the fact that women, on average, still receive less pay than their male counterparts, and are significantly underrepresented in top decision-making positions around the world.

Compiled from: UN News Centre, UN Expert Urges States to Fulfil Obligation to Prevent Violence against Women (10 October 2011).