Ending violence against women "a matter of life and death": UN official

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Ending violence against women is a matter of life and death, says United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.

Mr. Eliasson spoke in New York on Monday at the start of the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women under the theme "Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls".

He said that women's empowerment is picking up as women increasingly occupy top positions around the world.

But, he added, more needs to be done in confronting the main theme of this year's session of the Commission.

"Ending violence against women is a matter of life and death. Millions of women and girls suffer from this global scourge. I have met them – among refugees and in hospitals, in large advocacy groups and in small gatherings all around the world. Their stories are graphic and heart-breaking – but their spirits are never broken. I saw it in the camps in Darfur five years ago, and last October among afflicted women from the North of Mali, then occupied and repressed. The problem pervades all countries, even in the most stable and developed regions." (33")

Mr. Eliasson said that men and boys must be encouraged to stand up and say No to Violence against Women.

Women leaders and activists from around the world have gathered at United Nations headquarters in New York for the two-week session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.


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