'One step more for realizing the rights and dignity of women and girls'

Women, led by Yoo Soon-taek, wife of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and actresses Susan Sarandon and Monique Coleman, march outside the U.N. general assembly building to mark International Women's Day. Photo by: Mark Garten / U.N.

In a historic move, 131 U.N. member states have joined hands with cross-sector groups to thwart violence against all women and girls.

The agreement was sealed at the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women held recently in New York, United States, after over two weeks of close negotiations between participants.

Thousands of representatives from member states, U.N. partners, civil society, international governmental organizations and the private sector came together to produce an outcome document summarizing the global plan to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

According to information from the U.N. Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the plan calls for “increased attention and accelerated action for prevention and response.”

U.N. Women has detailed the important focus the plan gives to the prevention of violence, chiefly through providing education, raising awareness and addressing gender inequalities in the social, economic and political realms.

The plan prioritizes the protection of sexual and reproductive health rights, as well as the creation of multisectoral services for survivors of violence, it said. These services include those for health, and psychological support and counseling.

The plan also underscores the need for punishing perpetrators, and enhancing the means of collecting evidence and responding to victims.

“We will work with member states to turn the agreed conclusions of the Commission on the Status of Women into concrete results for women and girls,” said U.N. Women in a statement.

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About the author

  • Johanna Morden

    Johanna Morden is a community development worker by training and a global development journalist by profession. As a former Devex staff writer based in Manila, she covered the Asian Development Bank as well as Asia-Pacific's aid community at large. Johanna has written for a variety of international publications, covering social issues, disasters, government, ICT, business, and the law.