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Article

25 Nov 2021

Author:
69 UN experts

UN experts call on States to exercise due diligence to fight offline and online gender-based violence & protect women human rights defenders

Karen Toro / Climate Visuals Countdown

"International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women", 25 November 2021

Women and girls everywhere continue to be subjected to multiple forms of gender-based violence, including femicide, online violence and domestic violence, UN and regional experts said today. They call on States to exercise due diligence and to fight pushbacks on gender equality.

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“Although they represent more than half the world’s population, women and girls the world over are still at risk of being killed and subject to violence, intimidation and harassment when they speak out – for the simple fact of being women and girls. Violence against women and girls is the result of intersectional forms of social, political, economic, racial, caste and cultural discrimination perpetrated daily against women and girls in all of their diversity, including in the context of armed conflict, and States and the international community have the obligation mandated by international human rights law and standards to address this violence...

Governments, private companies and others may seek to hide their responsibilities behind the seemingly “borderless” nature of the internet. But human rights are universal and, as such, there is one human rights regime that protects the rights of women and girls offline as well as online, and that demands zero tolerance for violence against women and girls in the digital space...

It is unacceptable that in today’s world where humanity and life on this planet faces the existential threats of climate change and toxic pollution amidst a proliferation of conflict; the COVID-19 pandemic has ... also caus[ed] an increase in domestic violence against women... These global crises interact with and further deepen pre-existing inequalities... Indigenous women, internally displaced women, women with disabilities, lesbian and transgender women and women belonging to other vulnerable or marginalized groups are particularly affected by the failure of these policies to prevent such violence, as well as protect and assist survivors...

States must exercise their due diligence obligation and protect women human rights defenders, activists and women’s organizations who are regularly harassed, intimidated and subjected to violence for defending their rights and promoting equality. The level and frequency of violence against them should raise alarm bells everywhere. It is, and should be, a public policy and a human rights priority...

Part of the following stories

2021 International Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) Day

2021 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women