Every third woman will be a victim of violence

Nov 25, 2015

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 December

Since 1999, by the decision of the United Nations, 25 November is celebrated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It is also a reminder how women and girls around the world are facing violence in its many forms on the daily basis. This day is celebrated as a day of remembrance of the murder of the Mirabal sisters during the dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960.

Women are abused in their own homes, harassed on the streets, at the workplace or on the Internet.  Globally, one in three women will experience physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. The shocking fact is that the perpetrators of such crimes are usually intimate partners of the victims. The position of women in the world is further exacerbated by the conflict and refugee crisis where women besides children are the most vulnerable group that often faces a new wave of violence and humiliation seeking safety.

Data for Croatia, unfortunately, do not deviate from these statistics. Every third woman in Croatia has experienced some form of violence by a partner or a male family member. In the last ten years, more than 300 women were killed.

In addition to different types of violence, women are often in an economically disadvantaged position. The latest data from the World Economic Forum shows that women will be economically equal to men within 118 years or by the distant 2133 year.  According to the research, Croatia is on gender equality ranked 59th out of 145 countries. Even more disheartening is the fact that Croatia together with Sri Lanka is a country with the biggest deterioration in the gender gap since 2005.

In addition to these problems, Croatia, like other countries in the region still faces the legacy of violence against women in war. This year on May 29, parliament adopted a law on the rights of victims of sexual violence during Homeland War, which aims to provide at least partial compensation to survivors of such violence.

Most of the victims were women, and up to now about eighty people has submitted a request to the Ministry of War Veterans for exercising the rights. As one of the first steps in the process of applying the law, UNDP and the Ministry of War Veterans will organize a three-day training from 9-11 December for employees and workers in the system of exercising rights in order to help survivors of sexual violence in war.

The eradication of violence against women is essential for achieving peace and equality, and to make it happen. it is necessary to promote gender equality, women's empowerment and the provision of women’s health and reproductive rights.

According to Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, is extremely important that the elimination of violence against women and girls, as well as all harmful practices are included in the Agenda 2030 and into specific, recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals.