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Violence against women ‘covered up’: UN chief

UNITED NATIONS: Violence against women continues unchecked “in every continent, country and culture,” because it is frequently concealed or tacitly condoned, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday.

In a message to mark International Women’s Day on Wednesday, the UN secretary general said violence “takes a devastating toll on women’s lives, on their families and on society as a whole.”

“Most societies prohibit such violence – yet the reality is that too often, it is covered up or tacitly condoned.” In a text and video message, Ban said International Women’s Day was a chance for women and men to unite in a cause that embraces all humankind. “Empowering women is not only a goal in itself. It is a condition for building better lives for everyone on the planet.”

Although world leaders reaffirmed the primacy of gender equality and human rights for advancing world development, peace and security at the 2005 World Summit, “we are still very far from turning this understanding into universal practice,” said Ban. “In almost all countries, women continue to be under-represented in decision-making positions,” he said.

“Women’s work continues to be undervalued, underpaid, or not paid at all. Out of more than 100 million children who are not in school, the majority are girls. Out of more than 800 million adults who cannot read, the majority are women. Ban, who took over as UN chief in January, pledged “to do all I can” to ensure the UN is at the forefront of endeavors to “strengthen every means of empowering women and girls.”

Source: Daily Times


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