- One in three women experience domestic or sexual violence around the world and the numbers are on the rise.
- According to the WHO, as many as 38 per cent of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners.
Commonwealth secretary general, Patricia Scotland has said she will bring the change needed to end violence against women and girls across the Commonwealth nations.
Scotland urged women to speak up against GBV.
“We have to face the truth of gender-based violence and the scar that it places on our world. I have always referred to it as the silent pandemic, which was here long before Covid-19,” she said.
“I wish this issue no longer existed because we are 28 years since the Declaration of the Elimination of Violence Against Women. 28 years of committing ourselves to change. The change will come.”
Scotland spoke in South Africa at the second Presidential Summit on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide on November 1.
One in three women experience domestic or sexual violence around the world and the numbers are on the rise.
According to the WHO, as many as 38 per cent of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners.
“More than 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation and at least 2 billion women have experienced sexual harassment. During the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, there was an alarming rise in domestic and sexual violence, and cases of harmful practices such as female genital mutilation,” she said.
“It just got worse in some of our countries and it went up by more than 500 per cent.”
According to a recent report by Human Rights Watch, Kenya still has a long way to go to tackle GBV cases as the current government structures and policies are inadequate to respond effectively.
“I am absolutely determined that we will end violence against women and girls,” Scotland said.
She highlighted the Commonwealth Says NO MORE initiative, the first-ever pan-Commonwealth platform to address domestic and sexual violence.
It brings together the Commonwealth Secretariat, the NO MORE Foundation and the toolkit which she has provided to enable countries to undertake the economic cost of violence against women and girls.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa was also present at the summit.