`Bell Bajao` to stop domestic violence: UN chief

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on people to `Bell Bajao` as he joined the initiative to fight against domestic violence and abuse for women in India.

New York: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
on Wednesday called on people to `Bell Bajao` (ring the bell) as he
joined the initiative to fight against domestic violence and
abuse for women in India.

A day ahead of International Day for the Elimination of
Violence against Women, Ban said: "Millions of men and boys
are stopping this violence simply by lifting one finger...
(to) ring the door bell."

He called on people to join the campaign in his public
message. "It interrupts what`s happening... It may give the
woman a chance to escape."

Bell Bajao campaign appeals to local residents to take a
stand against women abuse through simple acts such as ringing
door bell, where one suspects of happening of domestic
violence.

The initiative was launched on August 20, 2008, by an NGO
Breakthrough in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and
Child Development, UNIFEM and UN Trust Fund.

Domestic violence against women remains the "most
pervasive" human rights violation, according to UN. One in
three women worldwide experience some form of physical
violence -- the majority from an intimate partner or within
their family, the world body said.

Last year, Ban launched his Network of Men Leaders to
combat violence against women to get boys and men involved in
combating violence. "Fathers and brothers who are so important
to this campaign...they are coming forward to join us," he
said.

This year`s theme is to press on the role of corporate
sector in preventing violence against women. "Corporate
executives who care about the health and safety of the world`s
women and girls ... are finding new ways to address violence
against women. From the pages of fashion magazines to the
interactions between cosmetic salespeople and
their clients," the UN chief said.

Meanwhile, the head of UN Women Michele Bachelet noted
that women peacekeepers from India and Bangladesh were a
source of strength for raped ones in conflict areas.

"It is a true case that women are strong and women are
capable of dealing not only with soft issues but also can be
police force, part of armed forces," Bachelet told reporters
yesterday.

"When you see more powerful women everywhere, it not only
gives not only strength to women but also it show that we can
make cultural changes," she added.

PTI

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