Marking International Women’s Day: Thursday 8 March 2007

Marking International Women's Day: Thursday 8 March 2007
This year's theme for International Women's Day is "Ending Impunity for violence against women and girls".

Violence against women and girls continues unabated in every continent, country and culture. No one can dispute the evidence. Violence takes a devastating toll on the lives of women, their families and society as a whole. Gender equality and human rights for all are essential to advancing development, peace and security.


 International Women's Day 2007
Take action to end impunity for violence against women and girls

•   Violence against women is the most common but least punished crime in the world.

•   It is estimated that between 113 million and 200 million women are demographically "missing." They have been  the victims of infanticide (boys are preferred to girls) or have not received the same amount of food and medical attention as their brothers and fathers.

• The number of women forced or sold into prostitution is estimated worldwide at anywhere between 700,000 and 4,000,000 per year. Profits from sex slavery are estimated at seven to twelve billion US dollars per year. • Globally, women between the age of fifteen and forty-four are more likely to be maimed or die as a result of male violence than through cancer, malaria, traffic accidents or war combined.

• At least one out of every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Usually, the abuser is a member of her own family or someone known to her. Domestic violence is the largest form of abuse of women worldwide, irrespective of  region, culture, ethnicity, education, class and religion.

• It is estimated that more than two million girls are genitally mutilated per year, a rate of one girl every fifteen seconds.

• Systematic rape is used as a weapon of terror in many of the world's conflicts. It is estimated that between 250,000 and 500,000 women in Rwanda were raped during the 1994 genocide.

• Studies show the increasing links between violence against women and HIV and demonstrate that HIV-infected women are more likely to have experienced violence, and that victims of violence are at higher risk of HIV infection.



Source: Vlachovà, Marie and Biason, Lea, Eds. (2004) Women in an Insecure World: Violence Against Women – Facts, Figures and Analysis. Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces

Ending Violence Against Women: Advancing Development


“Violence against women has yet to receive the priority and resources needed at all levels to tackle it with the seriousness and visibility necessary”
                                                                 Secretary-General’s in-depth study on violence against women (2006)

To find out what ILRI is doing to address gender in Ethiopia click here

Ending violence against women is essential to advancing development. To mark International Women’s Day 2007, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and other Nairobi-based Centers under the umbrella of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), visited the Nairobi Women’s hospital which runs a Gender Violence and Recovery Center (GVRC) for battered women and rape victims. The hospital was opened on 5 March 2001 and receives an average of 6-7 patients per day – most of them rape victims.

‘Ending Violence Against Women, is an initiative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). An interactive, multimedia online exhibit tells the stories of women throughout the world in their battle to bring equality and stop violence to women, as well as the efforts of the UNFPA and other like-minded NGOs in these endeavors.

For more information on International Women’s Day, including its origins, visit