Experts call for end to global epidemic of femicide
In a joint statement issued ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and other UN and regional human rights experts call on all States and relevant stakeholders to end the global epidemic of femicide, or gender-related killings of women, and gender-based violence against women.
“Available data from both States and the United Nations indicate that among the victims of all intentional killings involving intimate partners (in which there is an established intimate relationship between perpetrator and victim) almost 80% of victims are women. Most of these deaths are preventable. Intimate partner, family related, and other femicides, or gender-related killing of women persists in all corners of the world as a global epidemic that permeates both the private and public spheres (as recognized by the 2015 UN General Assembly resolution on taking action against gender-related killing of women and girls (A/RES/70/176)).
Despite the global reach of Sustainable Development Goal 5, which calls for the achievement of gender equality, and specifically (target 5.1), which further commits States to eliminate all forms of violence against women, girls and adolescents, and reaffirms the aim of the international and regional women’s rights instruments in this regard, its implementation remains a challenge for all States. Additionally, there are numerous push back efforts that continue to undermine gender equality and empowerment of women by attacking and misconstruing the term gender, in spite of its use in UN documents (including the International Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, and CEDAW’s General Recommendation No. 35) to define violence against women as gender-based violence.
The #MeToo movement has also demonstrated that violence against women, girls and adolescents is happening throughout our communities and affecting us all. It impacts women from all social backgrounds, of all ages, and in all professional settings, and is deeply linked to damaging gender stereotypes and women’s lack of equality.
Indeed, new forms of gender-based violence against women have been emerging, including online violence against women, which is spreading rapidly and poses a significant risk. The so-called “doxing”, “sextortion” and “trolling”, as well as the non-consensual distribution of intimate content (or “revenge porn”), have already been used as methods of intimidation against women human rights defenders, women in politics, journalists, bloggers, young women, women belonging to ethnic minorities and indigenous women, afro-descendant women, LBTIQ women, women with disabilities and women from marginalized groups. Internet intermediaries (such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram and others), as well as States share a joint responsibility to prevent and address such cyber violence against women.
The Experts, therefore, call for strengthened cooperation between independent global and regional mechanisms, as common synergies and efforts to address violence against women under the existing normative framework on human rights, which will contribute to closing gaps in combating and preventing violence against women worldwide. The Experts also call for the inclusion of monitoring mechanisms to ensure full implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 5.
In this regard, the undersigned mechanisms urge States, civil society and other stakeholders, to intensify efforts to eradicate violence against women and to ensure that gender-based violence is no longer tolerated, and reiterate their call to end the global epidemic of gender-based killings or femicides (#NiUnaMenos) and support the voices of those speaking up against endemic violence against women (#MeToo).”
The full statement can be found here.