Violence against women – the most pervasive expression of gender-based violence: Pillay

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. [UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré]

"Violence against women is the most pervasive expression of gender-based discrimination", UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay told the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday during its annual full-day discussion on women's rights.

Ms. Pillay said that before the 1990's, violence against women was still largely considered a private matter and not a human rights issue of concern to the international community.

However, there was a shift in the 1990's. According to Ms. Pillay, the real turning point was the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action which recognized violence against women as an issue of international concern.

“International developments have been mirrored by efforts at the national level. Virtually all countries have taken steps to tackle violence, through specific legal frameworks, institutions and policies. While we commemorate these developments we must acknowledge that violence against women remains unacceptably widespread.”

Ms. Pillay says International UN conferences, including Beijing in 1995, and more recently the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, have reaffirmed the commitment to eliminate violence through the promotion of women's empowerment and equality in fields such as education, labour, health, and participation in all spheres of public life.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’22″

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