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Violence against women

16 Days of Activism: 15 years of initiatives to end violence against women

30 November 2011


From Uganda to Grenada; from Nepal to Iraq; from Bangladesh to Ukraine: since its creation in 1996, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women has delivered more than US$78 million to support 339 initiatives around the world.

The UN Trust Fund celebrates this year 15 years of preventing violence against women and girls; expanding their access to services, including legal assistance, psychological counseling and health care; and strengthening the implementation of laws, policies and action plans on violence against women and girls.

“The Fund seeks to broaden awareness, advocates application of human rights standards, promotes access to services for survivors, and develops government capacities to address abuses,” said UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay.

Among other things, UN Trust Fund projects are breaking the barriers of exclusion by building the capacity of Roma women to access justice and influence decision-making processes in Bosnia-Herzegovina; by reducing the risk and vulnerability to violence and HIV/AIDS among women living on the Dominican-Haitian border; and by training indigenous and Afro-descendant youthin Peru toserve as leaders in an anti-violence movement. They also engage men and boys in violence prevention; prevent acid burn violence against women; and establish safe spaces for school girls to prevent sexual violence.

“Let us not forget that violence does not only have a devastating effect on the millions of women and girls who suffer from it, but also directly impacts their ability to fully participate in the development of their countries,” said Rashida Manjoo, the UN expert on violence against women.

The UN Trust Fund has a commitment to reach 6.2 million beneficiaries globally in three years. The grants awarded have helped HIV-positive women to connect with traditional leaders in Malawi to counter widespread stigmatisation and abuse; they have assisted in reducing workplace violence in export-oriented garment factories in Bangladesh and India; and have accelerated the channels of justice and health services for survivors in Uruguay.

The UN Trust Fund relies on voluntary contributions from UN Member States, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and individual donors.

Contributions are generally disbursed to non-governmental organizations, also to governments and UN country teams. Grants are awarded annually through an open and competitive process.

OHCHR and other UN agencies who work to address types or circumstances of violence against women and girls are members of the Inter-Agency Committee, which advises and participates in decision making of the grant. The Trust Fund is managed by UN Women on behalf of the UN system.

“It is only by placing women’s human rights, including the right to be free from violence, at the center of our efforts,” said Manjoo “that we will be able to build a more secure world, based on the common goal and the shared obligation of ensuring that human rights are universally and equally enjoyed.”

The 16 days of activism campaign, which runs every year from 25 November – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – to 10 December – Human Rights Day - calls for the elimination of violence against women and invites everyone to take action against it.

 30 November 2011