By: Claire Van der Vaeren
Today marks International Women’s Day, when we focus on ending discrimination against women and girls. A life free of discrimination is a basic human right that the female half of the population is still struggling to realise in a world where no country has yet achieved gender equality. Women’s empowerment and gender equality are also essential ingredients for sustainable development.
This year the theme of International Women’s Day is Planet 50/50 by 2030: Step it up for gender equality, highlighting the need to accelerate our efforts. It has been over 20 years now since world leaders committed to gender equality and women’s empowerment at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
By: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuca
Across the world, violence against women and girls remains one of the most serious – and the most tolerated – human rights violations, both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality and discrimination.
Its continued presence is one of the clearest markers of societies out of balance and we are determined to change that. On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women we say again:
It is not acceptable. It is not inevitable. It can be prevented.
Although there is no single solution to such a complex problem, there is growing evidence of the range of actions that can stop violence before it happens, especially if they are implemented in parallel.
by: Natasha Stott Despoja
It is a great pleasure to visit Cambodia in my capacity as Australia’s ambassador for women and girls. Australia recognises the critical role that women and girls play in national and global prosperity and security. My position was created to empower women in the context of Australia’s engagement with the region. Women’s roles are a key focus of our foreign policy and a critical part of our aid and development work.
By Dr. Katherine Brickell
Sadly, domestic violence against women is one of the nation’s most prevalent human rights abuses. The U.N.’s Multi-country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific found that 12 percent of 1,812 Cambodian men in the survey reported committing physical violence against women. About 21 percent of those who had been in a relationship said they had raped a partner.
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