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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

UN kicks off campaign to end violence against women

Agence France-Presse
First Posted 08:28:00 02/26/2008

UNITED NATIONS -- UN boss Ban Ki-moon on Monday launched a worldwide campaign to end violence against women which he described as "never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable."

"Violence against women is an issue that cannot wait," the secretary general told the UN commission on the status of women.

"At least one out of every three women is likely to be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime ... No country, no culture, no woman young or old is immune to this scourge."

He noted that through the practice of prenatal sex selection, "countless others are denied the right even to exist."

And he noted that "today's weapons of armed conflict include rape, sexual violence and the abduction of children conscripted as soldiers or forced into sexual slavery."

"Violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable," he stated.

Ban said the campaign would continue until 2015 to coincide with the target date for implementation of the poverty-reduction Millennium Development Goals.

He called on the UN Security Council to set up a mechanism to monitor violence against women and girls under the framework of its Resolution 1325.

That resolution, adopted in October 2000, urges UN member-states to protect women, improve their status and their participation in decision-making bodies.

Ban also appealed to men around the world "to lead by example: to make clear that violence against women is an act perpetrated by a coward, and that speaking up against it is a badge of honor."