The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has recorded 183,132 actions to end violence against women through its Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women initiative. This far surpasses the initial goal for Say NO of more than 100,000 actions by International Women’s Day 2010.
Launched in November 2009 as a web platform to facilitate, showcase and count efforts to address gender-based violence by individuals, governments and civil society, Say NO is a direct contribution to the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign.
People from more than 190 countries have used the web-based platform for advocacy and outreach, and participated through its related social media initiatives.
The actions showcased on the Say NO – UNiTE platform range from students learning about preventing violence against women in schools in Thailand, to the Parliament of Maldives signing on to Say NO and adopting a Resolution on ending violence against women. In Kenya, the group Men for Gender Equality Now traveled across the country to mobilise their communities against discrimination, and in Brazil members of trade unions demanded 24-hour access to trained police to report gender-based violence.
Say NO – UNiTE has the support of 186 official partners representing millions of members, who are working on the ground to end violence against women. It has also mobilised critical funding towards programs and efforts to end violence against women worldwide.
The UNIFEM initiative Say NO – UNiTE was built on the momentum generated during its first phase when more than five million people signed on to a global call to make ending violence against women a top priority worldwide. The signatures which were generated were handed over to the UN Secretary General by Say NO Spokesperson and Academy Award winning actress Nicole Kidman, and included Heads of State and Ministers from 69 governments and more than 700 Parliamentarians.
It is estimated that up to 70 percent of women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.
For more information visit the website www.saynotoviolence.org
Photo: Joseph Driste for UNIFEM