Press Conference: Launch Of Walk the Talk 2015

Nov 26, 2015

Distinguished guests,

Ladies & gentlemen,

Members of the media,

Good afternoon and Selamat Sejahtera to all of you.


UNiTE campaign:

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is proud to be partnering Walk the Talk 2015 to draw attention to a global UN campaign called UNiTE to End Violence against Women. This campaign, dubbed 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign which takes place each year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, through to 10 December, Human Rights Day.

The colour orange has been chosen as the official color of the campaign, symbolizing a bright and optimistic future free from violence against women and girls.

This year’s initiative takes place with a focus on prevention, and in the specific context of the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which includes a target on ending violence against women and girls. Over 450 ‘orange events’ are planned in more than 70 countries around the world ahead of and throughout the 16 days.

Global context:

Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights.

Violence against women permeates every society, class, race, geographical area, age group. In fact last year the World Health Organization called it ‘a global epidemic’ and a public health crisis.

Its impact ranges from immediate to long-term multiple physical, sexual and mental consequences for women and girls, including death.

·         It is estimated that 1 in 3 women worldwide experience either physical and/or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. In some countries, this figure can be as high as 70%.

·         Of all women killed globally in 2012, almost half were killed by intimate partners or family members.

·         An estimated 133 million girls and women have experienced some form of female genital mutilation/cutting.

·         One in 10 women in the European Union report having experienced cyber-harassment since the age of 15 (including having received unwanted, offensive sexually explicit emails or SMS messages, or offensive, inappropriate advances on social networking sites).

How does it impact 11th Malaysia Plan and Vision 2020

Violence not only has negative consequences for those who suffer it, but also their families, the community and the country at large. It is a gross human rights violation, and also has tremendous costs, from greater health care and legal expenses and losses in productivity, impacting national budgets and overall development. The economic cost (conservative estimate) of violence against women to countries ranges from one and two per cent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Sustainable Development Goals and Violence against Women and Girls:

The adoption by world leaders of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015 at the last UN General Assembly, provides the international community with a golden opportunity to position gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment at the centre of the global agenda, both as an important end in itself and as an essential means to sustainable development.

The gender equality goal aims to end all forms of discrimination against women and girls. The Goal recognizes violence against women as an obstacle to fully achieving the development agenda, and focuses also on ending violence against women and provides comprehensive indicators on what we should do to address that goal. It focuses also on the provision of services to address sexual and reproductive rights.

The Walk the talk event is connected to Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals which is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. The related indicators are:

·         5.1 end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere

·         5.2 eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation

·         5.3 eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilations

·         5.6 ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the ICPD and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences

·         5.c adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels

Conclusion:

To eliminate violence against women, it is not only women who should unite, but everyone in all levels of society. It is vital that men and boys are also included in the war to end violence against women and girls.

The magnitude of the global epidemic that is violence against women and girls cannot be understated. In order to eliminate this scourge, we are gathered here today with CSOs, authorities and the media, all of whom play a huge role in ending violence and at the same time for Malaysia to achieve SDG 5 by 2030. The only way to combat this is if we all UNITE!

Let Walk the Talk be the first among many steps that we take together in ending violence against women and girls, and achieving gender equality.


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