A joint statement by the European Union and the United Nations Guyana on the occasion of ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based violence’ (November 25-December 10) follows:
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, we reaffirm our commitment to ending violence against women and girls.
Violence against women affects every country worldwide and escalates in times of crisis. Globally, 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime and 1 in 5 girls become a victim of child sexual abuse.
We strongly condemn all forms of violence against women and girls, including harmful practices, as a blatant violation of human rights. The COVID-19 pandemic has further aggravated the situation, leading to record high levels of domestic violence. Since the start of COVID-19, 45 percent of women reported that they or a woman they know had experienced a form of Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG).
The European Union (EU)-United Nations (UN) Spotlight Initiative grew out of this urgent need to address VAWG. The European Union recognises the importance of this issue and prides itself on being the biggest investor in gender equality worldwide, making this one of its main global human rights priorities.
VAWG in Guyana is widespread, driven by an intersection of cultural, economic and social factors. Findings from Guyana indicate that 20 percent of women have experienced non-partner sexual abuse, while 1 in 2 women will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
The Spotlight Initiative in Guyana is therefore a timely action with a community-level focus, designed to address Gender Based Violence and Violence Against Women & Girls by making interventions in critical areas such as Laws and Policies, Institutions, Prevention, Essential Services, Quality Data and Civil Society/Women’s Movement.
The hard work with committed partnership of the Government of Guyana led by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security with other partners within Civil Society, has already realized the achievement of many significant milestones. This has set the stage for strengthening our collective efforts to create an environment for women and girls to live a life free of violence, harmful practices, and intersecting forms of discrimination. We are committed to doing all we can to tackle violence against women.
The EU and the UN continue to stand in solidarity with the women and girl victims and survivors of violence and with civil society, women’s rights organizations and human rights defenders demanding for accountability.
We also remember and pay special attention to violence against women in conflict areas and humanitarian crises such as the war in Ukraine.
Every girl born today should grow up without violence in her life, allowing her to flourish and become the best person she can be!
We stand together to stop violence against women and girls!