cross-posted from UNIFEM

Violence against women and girls is one of the most systematic, widespread human rights violations in the world. It occurs in every country, rich and poor, and affects women and girls, regardless of age or socio-economic status.  Despite its alarming proportions and deleterious effects on so many levels, it has long been a silent epidemic that has only recently, due to decades of tireless effort and dedication by the women’s movement and concerned human rights activists, been placed high on global, regional and national policy-making agendas.

To advance UNIFEM’s work and accelerate progress in implementation and upscaling, the organization’s vision and future directions are set out in this 2008-2011 Strategy, A Life Free of Violence: Unleashing the Power of Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality. It looks at seminal reports, worldwide initiatives, and expert consensus and emerging issues in academic, advocacy and policy circles. It also provides an overview of UNIFEM-supported programming, work in progress at other UN agencies in the context of UN reform and other opportunities available to accelerate progress, such as the Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women.

Under the overall theme of ending impunity and strengthening accountability, the strategy’s four pillars centre around: furthering implementation of existing commitments and promoting upscaling; aligning informal and formal justice systems with international human rights standards; addressing rape as a tactic of warfare in conflict and post-conflict situations; and targeting primary prevention with key groups, especially men and young people.     Download your own copy.