Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 November 2015, 11:43 by GxMedia
The atrocity crimes being committed against women and girls in conflict zones, along with the domestic abuse found in all countries, are grave threats to progress.
Even in areas at peace, violence against women persists in the form of femicide, sexual assault, female genital mutilation/cutting, early marriage and cyberviolence. These practices traumatize individuals and tear at the fabric of society.
I have led a global response through the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign and the HeForShe initiative to engage men in promoting gender equality. I call on governments to increase contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, which aims to address chronic underinvestment in this area.
Millions of people across the world are uniting under the banner colour orange, chosen to symbolize the brighter future of a world free from violence against women and girls. This year, in a sign of the growing momentum for change, orange lights will illuminate iconic landmarks from the historic ruins at Petra in Jordan to Niagara Falls in North America.
We can also blaze a path to a future of dignity and equality for all by implementing the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which recognizes the importance of eliminating violence against women, with related targets across several of the Sustainable Development Goals. Recent major reviews of United Nations peace operations, peacebuilding efforts and the women, peace and security agenda have all highlighted the critical value of women’s participation in peace and security.
The pervasiveness of violence against women and girls means we can all take steps to address it. Let us join forces to end this crime, promote full gender equality and realize a world where women and girls enjoy the safety they deserve – for their sake and for all of humanity.