01 February 2017
More than 20 years after the UN General Assembly’s declaration on the elimination of violence against women, more than one in three women still experiences physical or sexual violence at some point during their lives. Some studies put the figure even higher, estimating that up to 70% of women suffer violence from a partner or non-partner.
Though there are organisations around the world working to tackle this problem and reduce the number of women and girls who experience violence, progress is slow. This makes the Campaign to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls incredibly important and should motivate men and women around the world to join the fight to end gender-based violence.
Long term effects of violence against women and girls
As well as having a serious short term impact on the lives of women and girls, violence can have a significant long term cost. According to the UN, women and girls who experience violence are more than twice as likely to have an abortion, twice as likely to experience depression and, in some regions, 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV.
Economic impact of violence against women and girls
Violence against women and girls doesn’t just affect individuals, it affects the wider community as well. According to the World Bank, violence against women has a huge economic impact. Millions of pounds are lost every year through lost productivity, with many women who suffer gender-based violence are unable to achieve their full earning potential.
The World Bank reported that estimates of losses due to violence against women range from 1.2% of GDP to 10% of GDP. If gender-based violence were to be eliminated, it would have real economic benefits for economies around the world.
Eliminating violence against women and girls
The only way to eliminate violence against women and girls is to change public attitudes. Educating both boys and girls from a young age has been shown to help lower rates of violence. Promoting gender equality, supporting women and girls and disseminating information to communities can also help to reduce rates of violence against women and girls.
Though it will take time to eliminate gender-based violence, by working together and supporting organisations that help women and girls affected by violence, we can all do our bit to help. To find out more, or to learn about the help and support that’s available in your area, contact Doorway on 0808 800 1030.