The World Health Organisation in a report on Tuesday (March 9) said that 1 out of 3 women in the world have suffered from violence. The organisation also stated that the younger women were the most vulnerable group to these incidents.
The report titled ‘Global, regional and national estimates for intimate partner violence against women and global and regional estimates for non-partner sexual violence against women’ is developed by WHO and the UNDP-UNFPA-UNICEF-WHO-World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP) for the United Nations Inter-Agency Working Group on Violence Against Women Estimation and Data.
WHO said, “Across their lifetime, 1 in 3 women, around 736 million, are subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence from a non-partner – a number that has remained largely unchanged over the past decade.”
The reports also said that women in the age bracket of 15-24 who have been in a relationship will have already experienced violence by an intimate partner by the time they reach their mid-twenties.
WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Violence against women is endemic in every country and culture, causing harm to millions of women and their families, and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. But unlike COVID-19, violence against women cannot be stopped with a vaccine. We can only fight it with deep-rooted and sustained efforts – by governments, communities, and individuals – to change harmful attitudes, improve access to opportunities and services for women and girls, and foster healthy and mutually respectful relationships.
Violence by an intimate partner was reported to be the most prevalent form of violence with over 641 million women said to be affected by it. However, experts say that due to underreporting the true number of cases is much higher.
UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said “It’s deeply disturbing that this pervasive violence by men against women not only persists unchanged but is at its worst for young women aged 15-24 who may also be young mothers. And that was the situation before the pandemic stay-at-home orders. We know that the multiple impacts of COVID-19 have triggered a “shadow pandemic” of increased reported violence of all kinds against women and girls.”
The report also says that women in the lower economic section are much more susceptible to incidents of violence. The organisation said that over 37 per cent of women had experienced violence in poorer countries with figures in some countries as high as 50 per cent.