The United Nations has launched its annual global campaign of 16 Days for the Elimination of Violence Against Women under the theme “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now.”

This was done at the organisation’s virtual official commemoration ahead of the International Day For the Elimination of Violence Against Women this Thursday.

The UN Secretary-General called violence against women and girls, an abhorrent crime and a public health emergency while the newly-appointed Executive Director of UNWOMEN again highlighted the shadow pandemic that remains a global crisis, everywhere.

UN launches global campaign of 16 days for Elimination of Violence Against Women:

To mark the day, a new UNWOMEN report, “Measuring the shadow pandemic: Violence against women during COVID-19” that surveyed 13 countries was launched, finding that one in two women reported that they or a woman they know experienced violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is something UN Chief Antonio Guterres called the most pervasive and pressing human rights issue in the world today.

The latest figures from UN Women confirm that during the COVID-19 pandemic, levels of violence against women and girls have increased.

Across 13 countries, almost half of all women reported that they or a woman they know began to experience gender-based violence during the pandemic.

Mthatha residents take a stand against Gender-based violence:

Almost a quarter of women reported that household conflicts had become more frequent. A similar proportion said they felt less safe at home.

Violence in any part of society affects us all. From the scars on the next generation to the weakening of the social fabric.