Statement by H.E. Ms. Ambassador Helena Sångeland
From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until 10 December, Human Rights Day, the Embassy of Sweden is joining the UN to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence. The Embassy of Sweden will be lit up in orange every evening for the coming 16 days under the global theme “Orange the World: End Violence against Women now!”.
Violence against women exists in all societies, no country is free. On average, 137 women a day are killed by a family member. Nearly 1 in 3 women aged 15 years and older around the world have been subjected to physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime.
Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation. Violence negatively affects women’s general well-being and prevents women from fully participating in society. It impacts their families, their community, and the country at large.
COVID-19 has exacerbated the risk factors for violence against women, including unemployment and poverty, and reinforced many of the root causes such as gender stereotypes and harmful social norms.
Women’s rights are human rights. Equality benefits everyone. Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as to the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights.
After the 16 days of Activism, our efforts to prevent and eliminate violence against women will continue throughout the year. As long as gender inequality persists, Sweden will continue to pursue a feminist foreign policy. With full force, all over the world.