You are here: Take action on International Women's Day

8 March 2013
Today is International Women's Day, a chance to celebrate women's empowerment, reflect on the ongoing struggle for gender equality, and look ahead to the opportunities that await future generations of women.
This year, UNA-UK and the United Nations are using the Day to generate debate and action to end violence against women.
Across the globe, women of all backgrounds are affected by violence, from abuse in their own homes to mass rape in conflict situations. The figures are truly shocking:
  • 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not considered a crime
  • As many as 70% of women in the world report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.
  • Up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under the age of 16

Sexual violence also continues to be used as a weapon of war. Last month, Human Rights Watch released a damning report on rape by security forces in Sri Lanka, during and after the country's 26-year conflict. Meanwhile, Amnesty International has interviewed rape victims in Bosnia & Herzegovina to find out why only a fraction of the tens of thousands of cases have been investigated to date.

You can help to end what the UN's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict has called 'history's greatest silence' by taking our knowledge survey and sharing it widely.

As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said: there is one universal trust, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities - violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.

So on International Women's Day, let us convert our outrage into action, and join forces to end violence against women.