Nations launch $595 million fund to stop violence against women

UNITED NATIONS: World leaders meeting at the United Nations on Wednesday launched a half-billion dollar effort to end violence against women and girls, a crime suffered by one in three in their lifetimes. The effort will fund anti-violence programmes that promote prevention, bolster government policies and provide women and girls with improved access to services, organisers said. It will take particular aim at human trafficking, femicide and family violence, they said.
A third of all women experience violence at some point in their lives, and that figure is twice as high in some countries, according to the United Nations.
“Gender-based violence is the most dehumanising form of gender oppression.
It exists in every society, in every country rich and poor, in every religion and in every culture,” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, head of UN Women, said as the United Nations held its annual General Assembly.
“If there was anything that was ever universal, it is gender inequality and the violence that it breeds against women,” she said.
In other forms of violence, more than 700 million women worldwide were married before they were 18, and at least 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries, according to UN figures.
The initiative of $595 million was launched by the UN and the European Union, which is its main contributor, organisers said.
“The initiative has great power,” said Ashley Judd, a Hollywood actress and goodwill ambassador for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) who participated in Wednesday’s announcement.