The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon recently presented a report to the General Assembly on the violence against women. According to the report, violence against women worldwide have increased despite advances made in many fronts such as access to better education, higher employment, more women in the management positions, general health care for women and the fall in maternal mortality rate.
35% of women worldwide or more than one third have experienced physical violence and one over ten girls below eighteen years of age have been forced to have sex, according to the UN finding, as reported by New York Times. The report was presented to the Assembly to assess the general improvement of women’s right since the last conference held twenty years ago in Beijing. Hillary Clinton who attended the conference in 1995 as First Lady of the United States is scheduled to speak at the assembly conference again.
Measuring viz-a-viz the status of women since the Beijing conference, progress have been made in many fronts especially in areas of employment, economic empowerment and general health care. But, violence against women, including rape, murder and sexual harassment, remains stubbornly high in countries rich and poor, at war and at peace. The United Nations’ main health agency, the World Health Organization, found that 38 percent of women who are murdered are killed by their partners.
Where there are laws on the books , 125 countries criminalize domestic violence today, up from 89 in 2006, according to Equality Now, which tracks laws that affect women’s rights — they are not reliably enforced. The economic impact is said to cost over $4 trillion. According to the report by New York Times, the laws in Nigeria allows a man to beat the wife under certain circumstances.