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End violence against women and girls

By Julie Broussard | China Daily | Updated: 2013-11-25 07:15

According to the Third National Survey of Women's Social Status in China conducted in 2010 by the National Bureau of Statistics and the All-China Women's Federation, 24.7 percent of Chinese women have experienced abuse, assault, restriction of personal freedom, economic control, and/or forced sex during marriage. However, these figures are likely to understate the problem due to the common underreporting of domestic violence due to traditional norms that suggest domestic violence is a private affair and acceptable behavior.

Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive human rights violation. Globally, up to seven in 10 women have experienced violence in their lives. It's time to end this pandemic. We are pleased to see that there are currently 125 countries and regions with laws related to domestic violence, among which more than 60 have specialized anti-domestic violence laws. This is a huge step forward from just a decade ago, but 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not a crime.

The United Nations in China has been excited to see and support the ongoing process of drafting and passing national level legislation on family violence in China, which will include a focus on violence against women within the home. This is a much-awaited step in keeping China's promises as a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women. National level legislation will give clearer direction to the work being done to address domestic violence in provinces, counties and villages, as well as send important signals both to the general population and officials responsible for implementing the law. There is no excuse for domestic violence, it is a criminal offense and a human rights violation, and we must use all means necessary to end it. Every woman has the right to enjoy a life free of violence.

End violence against women and girls

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