End violence against women and girls - UN for IWD 2009
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released these remarks and more to mark this year's worldwide IWD celebrations and commemorations.
One year ago, I launched a campaign calling on people and Governments the world over to unite to end violence against women and girls.
We called it “Unite to End Violence against Women”. And unite we must.
It is sometimes said that women are weavers and men are too often warriors.
Women bear and care for our children. In much of the world, they plant the crops that feed us. They weave the fabric of our societies.
Violence against women is thus an attack on all of us, on the foundation of our civilization.
It destroys health and perpetuates poverty. It strikes against equality and empowerment.
It contributes to the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
Worldwide, one in five women suffer rape or attempted rape. In some countries, as many as one in three women are beaten, forced into sex or otherwise abused. This is alarming and shocking.
This must stop.
In 2008, South African-born, award-winning actor Charlize Theron became the UNs' Messenger of Peace who's particular focus is ending violence against women.