"Large-scale costs" of violence against women and girls evident: UN chief

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women during a special event entitled "Orange the World: Raise Money to end Violence against Women," commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November). UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

Violence against women and girls imposes "large-scale costs" on both communities and national economies, according to UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

In his message marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, on 25 November, the Secretary-General said there was "growing global recognition" that it constituted a grave human rights violation.

Matthew Wells has more.

Mr Ban described violence against women and girls as a "public health pandemic and serious obstacle to sustainable development."

When women were unable to work due to violence, that meant their income and autonomy suffered, and on a wider level, government agencies and businesses were also adversely affected.

"The net result is enormous suffering" as well as the exclusion of women, said the UN chief, a price which the world simply could not afford.

"Women and girls cannot afford it" he added, "and should not have to".

Mr Ban cited his leadership of the UNiTE campaign to End Violence against Women since 2008 with a call for "global action to increase resources and promote solutions".

He encouraged governments to give more, and asked world leaders to contribute to the UN Women agency, and to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.

"We look as well to the private sector, philanthropies and concerned citizens to do their part" he added.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 53"

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