United Nations: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has cited the rape and murder of two teenage girls who were hanged from a tree in India, saying violence against women is a global pandemic that destroys lives as he called men and boys to join as partners to fight violence against women.
"We learn of horrific crimes of violence against women and girls on a daily basis. This year alone, we have seen the kidnapping of more than 200 girls in Nigeria, the Indian schoolgirls who were raped, killed and hung from a tree, graphic testimony from Iraqi women of rape and sexual slavery during war, the continued bullying of women on the internet," he said marking the International Day to End Violence against Women here yesterday.
In June this year, the two teenaged girls were raped and hung from a tree in Uttar Pradesh's Badaun district, sparking widespread condemnation from various bodies including the UN.
He said violence against women and girls is a global pandemic that destroys lives, fractures communities and holds back development.
Governments, workplaces, universities and sports authorities are stepping up much-needed action to end sexual violence, he said noting that more than 80 per cent of governments have passed laws on domestic violence and sexual harassment.
However, their implementation is often slow and uneven and fragile gains continue to be threatened by extremism and a backlash against women's rights.
"It is up to everyone to play their part; women's rights are not only women's business. Men and boys are finally taking their place as partners in this battle," he said referring to the 'HeForShe' campaign he launched two months ago that brings together men in support of women and to end discrimination against "one half of humanity."
Ban added that violence against women and girls does not emerge from nowhere but it is simply the most extreme example of the political, financial, social and economic oppression of women and girls worldwide.
"Violence against women is not confined to just one region, political system, culture or social class," he said.
"It is present at every level of every society in the world. It happens in peacetime and becomes worse during conflict." he added.