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Redouble efforts to end gender-based violence: UN chief

November 25, 2020
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said violence against women and young ladies is a worldwide human rights challenge. He has urged all to redouble their work to eradicate gender-founded violence forever. Wednesday on the International Day for the Elimination of violence against Girls he said "Upon this international day, let us redouble our efforts".

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed this problem as a global emergency requiring urgent action at all levels, in every space, and by everyone, said the UN chief. 

He said the community and economic fallout from the pandemic are disproportionately pressing women and females into poverty, and the chance of violence against them is soaring.

In April this season, the UN chief urged the international community to work to end the shadow pandemic of gender-based violence forever. "I reiterate and relaunch that appeal today."

He said the global network desires to hear the voices and experience of women and young girls and consider their needs, especially survivors and the ones who deal with multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination. 

"We should also prioritize women leadership to find solutions and engage males in the struggle," Guterres said.

He said action must involve predictable and flexible funding for women’s rights organizations, which frequently act as first responders during crises. 

"It is important that solutions for survivors of violence stay open, with satisfactory resources and methods in place to support health, social and justice responses," said the UN chief.

These measures should not solely focus on intervening once violence against women has occurred, he said. 

They should work to avoid violence occurring, to begin with, including through addressing social norms and power imbalances, and police and judicial devices have to increase accountability for perpetrators and end impunity.

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