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It’s time to end violence against women

21 October, 2008
End Violence against women (cover)
“Violence against women means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”. United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, Article 1

The facts

  • One in every three women worldwide is likely to be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime and one in five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape.
  • Women aged 15 - 44 are more at risk of death and disability through domestic violence than through cancer, motor accidents, war and malaria.
  • Sixty million women who should be alive today are ‘missing’ because of gender discrimination which leads to sex-selective abortion and female infanticide.
  • Each year 2 million girls between ages 5 and 15 are introduced into the commercial sex market.
  • More than 130 million girls and women, mostly in Africa, have undergone female genital mutilation.
  • Between 20,000 and 50,000 women and girls were raped in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war in the Balkans.
  • In nine Latin American countries, a rapist who marries his victim stays out of jail.
  • Studies suggest that a quarter to one-third of the 170 million women and girls currently living in the European Union are subjected to male violence.

Sources: United Nations and Council of Europe

PSI affiliates across the globe are campaigning to raise awareness of the issue, to change societal attitudes and to end violence against women. Read more on what trade unions can do to end violence against women.


Also see