UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for efforts to end violence against women and girls in his message for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which falls on Nov. 25 annually.
"Now is the time for transformative action that ends violence against women and girls," said the secretary-general, noting that violence against women and girls is "the most pervasive human rights violation in the world."
The top UN official noted that every 11 minutes, a woman or girl is killed by an intimate partner or family member, and "we know that other stresses, from the COVID-19 pandemic to economic turmoil, inevitably lead to even more physical and verbal abuse."
"Women and girls also face rampant online violence, from misogynistic hate speech, to sexual harassment, image abuse and grooming by predators," said Guterres, adding that this discrimination, violence and abuse targeting half of humanity "comes at a steep cost."
"It limits women's and girls' participation in all walks of life, denies their basic rights and freedoms, and blocks the equal economic recovery and sustainable growth our world needs," he said.
Talking about action, the UN chief said that "governments designing, funding and implementing national action plans to tackle this scourge" is critical.
"It means involving grassroots and civil society groups at every stage of decision-making. It means ensuring that laws are implemented and respected, so survivors see their rights to justice and support upheld. It means supporting public campaigns that challenge patriarchal norms and reject misogyny and violence," he spelled out.
On this year's theme - "UNITE: Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls," the secretary-general said that "I call on governments to increase funding by 50 percent to women's rights organizations and movements by 2026."
"Let's consign violence against women and girls to the history books," said the UN chief.
On Dec. 20, 1993, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women through Resolution 48/104. Finally, on Feb. 7, 2000, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 54/134, officially designating Nov. 25 as the International day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and in doing so, inviting governments, international organizations as well as non-government organizations to join together and organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the issue every year on that date. ■