International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is being observed in Bangladesh along with the rest of the globe today.
This year's theme, "Orange the World: Fund, Prevent, Respond, Collect!" is tied in with 16 Days of Activism, where groups across the world will demonstrate concrete action against gender-based violence.
The day marks every year on 25 November, is a global advocacy effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women as women worldwide continue to face unacceptable levels of violence.
According to estimate of World Health Organization, nearly 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner.
The Covid-19 pandemic has further contributed to increasing risks of violence, particularly domestic violence against women.
From 25 November to 10 December, during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, WHO and partners will be raising awareness about the global need to prevent and respond to violence against women, and provide support to survivors.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.
Since 1991, more than 6,000 organizations from approximately 187 countries have participated in the campaign.
Alarming figures of Violence
1 in 3 women in the world has suffered physical and / or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner, every day, 137 women are killed, including more than one third by a spouse or ex-spouse, according to a report of WHO.
243 million women and girls aged 15 to 49 have experienced sexual and / or physical violence from an intimate partner in the past 12 months.
71% of all human trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls, and 3 out of 4 of these women and girls are sexually exploited, added the report.
Currently, it is estimated that 650 million women and girls worldwide were married before the age of 18.
The Shadow Pandemic
Some of the measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 have led to an increase in domestic and intra-family violence against women and girls.
This "shadow pandemic" has been denounced by the UN Secretary-General and UN Women.
The increased exposure of those already living in relationships marked by violence, the increased burdens and stress associated with household responsibilities and childcare as well as the loss of means of subsistence, the restriction opportunities for social contact; and limited access to community services and support.
Schools closure further exposes girls and adolescent girls to domestic violence, early and forced marriage, and early labor. Nearly 11 million girls and adolescents may never find their way back to school after leaving school, according to United Nation.
Usual primary health services have been disrupted by the pandemic, resulting in reduced access to essential health services for women and adolescent girls, particularly care related to sexual and reproductive rights and health. These cuts put women's lives at risk and undermine gender equality.
In particular, UNFPA estimated that six months of severe disruption to health systems in 114 low- and middle-income countries could prevent 47 million women to access contraceptives, leading to nearly 7 million unintended pregnancies.
Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!
As countries implemented lockdown measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, violence against women, especially domestic violence, intensified – in some countries, calls to helplines have increased five-fold.
The UN Secretary-General's UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls, will focus on amplifying the call for global action to bridge funding gaps, ensure essential services for survivors of violence during the Covid-19 crisis, focus on prevention, and collection of data that can improve life-saving services for women and girls.
This year's theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is "Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, and Collect!"
Like in previous years, this year's International Day will mark the launch of 16 days of activism that will conclude on 10 December 2020, which is International Human Rights Day.
Several public events are being coordinated for this year's International Day.
Iconic buildings and landmarks will be 'oranged' to recall the need for a violence-free future.
Events in Bangladesh marking the day
Different organizations in Bangladesh have chalked out programs today to marking the day.
The16-day-long activism campaign is being also observed aimed at raising awareness about violence against women.
The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs will organize an inaugural event to mark the 16-day campaign at Bangladesh Shishu Academy.
State minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatun Nesa Indira, Secretary Kazi Rowshan Akhter and UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo will attend the event.