Violence against women violates, impairs and nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Violence against women is a violation of human rights that cannot be justified by any political, religious, or cultural claim. A global culture of discrimination against women allows violence to occur daily and with impunity.
Women rights are human rights and are an inalienable part of universal human rights and form an integral part of the human rights activities of the United Nations, including the promotion of all human rights instruments relating, directly or indirectly, to women.
Since the creation of the mandate on violence against women, its causes and consequences, later on, the world has achieved greater awareness and understanding of gender-based violence and more effective measures are being developed to confront the problem. The international community has made great strides in setting standards and elaborating a legal framework for the promotion and protection of women from violence. While at the normative level the needs of women are generally adequately addressed, the challenge lies in ensuring respect for and effective implementation of existing law and standards. Much more remains to be done to create and sustain an environment where women can truly live free from gender-based violence.
There are many efforts at standard-setting and norm creation at the international level. The array of activities and initiatives taken aimed at the elimination of violence against women, including the adoption of amendments to relevant laws, and educational, social and other measures, including national information and awareness-raising campaigns do help address this problem In addition to the existence of laws, mechanisms for enforcing rights and redressing violations are also of crucial importance. Recent developments at the national, regional and international levels, in the prosecution of those responsible for violence against women are very important steps in the fight against impunity, not only because the perpetrators are brought to justice, but also because of the general deterrent effect such developments will hopefully have.
Violence against women and girls continues in the family, in the community, and is perpetrated and/or condoned in many countries. Violence is a multifaceted problem, with no simple or single solution. Violence must be addressed on multiple levels and in multiple sectors of society simultaneously, taking direction from local people on how women’s rights may be promoted in a given context.
Working on the improvement of data and statistics on violence against women and adopting special legislation that guarantees equal protection of the law and enforcement of its provisions will help treating this worldwide problem. Governments can put in place the building blocks of a system that can respond more effectively to gender-based violence. The allocation of resources, support to research and documentation on causes and consequences of gender-based violence, education and prevention programs to support efforts to increase community responsibility, making information on women’s rights readily available and creating partnerships between Governments and NGOs are also necessary and important steps to prevent the violence against women.