The Jakarta Post
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on countries in Southeast Asia to make a concerted effort to end violence against women and girls.
WHO South-East Asia director Poonam Khetrapal Singh said that globally, and in countries of the WHO South-East Asia region, one out of three women experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner.
'Violence against women and girls has become a public health issue. It not only has immediate and long-term impacts on physical, psychosocial and mental health of victims, but it also affects and impedes their progress in other areas, including poverty reduction, peace and security,' she said on Wednesday.
The regional director made the statement on the occasion of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Woman, which is observed every Nov. 25.
This year's 16-day campaign against gender-based violence themed 'prevention' begins on Nov. 25 and will run until Human Rights Day, Dec. 10.
The first UN Framework on Preventing Violence Against Women is being launched on Wednesday, to mark the start of the campaign. The prevention framework is focused on changing social norms and attitudes towards women and suggesting various strategies, in particular education.
'Prevention would need a holistic approach with multiple interventions undertaken in parallel in order to have a long-lasting and permanent impact,' said Khetrapal Singh.
These strategies, she added, would require multifaceted action, including from communities and schools and in the areas of agriculture, industry and trade as well as in the media and the health sector.
'We must unite and unanimously say no to violence against women and girls,' stressed Khetrapal Singh. (ebf)(+)
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