This blog post was researched and written by Intern Jocelyn Inlay.
One act of violence can cause a chain of events that impact not only the victim, but their family and society at large as well. That is why November 25 is International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women. Once again, the United Nations will bring international attention to the issue through the Secretary General’s UNiTE campaign “Orange YOUR Neighborhood”. The 16 day campaign lasts from November 25 to December 10, Human Rights Day. During this time, ordinary people take the UNiTE campaign to their community by organizing “Orange Events”. They want people across the world to join together in saying “No” to violence and “Yes” to human rights.
Last year, men and women across the world stood together in solidarity, asking for an end to violence against women. They held events in their communities, in their workplace, and at their schools to raise awareness. FOU20 Awareness Initiative in Ciaro Egypt hosted a cycling event to show the power of community in advocating for gender equality. In Kubal, UN Women held a contest and cultural performance event to increase awareness of laws in Afghanistan which protect women and girls from violence. More than 100 people gathered to test and show their knowledge of laws on women’s rights. In Mexico, students lined the streets with signs and information about human rights.
Within the past months we have seen a lot of attention brought to the issue of domestic violence against women in the United States. In 2010 alone, 1,095 women were killed by their male partners. Approximately 42 million women in the United States will experience physical violence, rape and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
Unfortunately, the problem of violence against women is not confined to the United States. Women around the world suffer daily from violence in the form of physical, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse. Worldwide, approximately 30% of women who have been in a relationship have experienced domestic violence, and in some regions that number is even higher. Some national studies report the numbers being as high as 70%.
Empowering women regardless of whether or not they have been a victim of violence is a crucial step towards gender equality and ending the violence. Right here in Pittsburgh, there are many organizations working hard every day to help women. Check out these organizations to see what part they play in saying “Yes” to human rights.
The mission of Women’s Center & Shelter is to advance the safety and wellbeing of victims of intimate partner violence and prevent and respond to intimate partner violence through social change.
Bethlehem Haven’s mission is to provide a continuum of care for homeless women that leads toward self-sufficiency. Bethlehem Haven’s vision is to end homelessness through collaboration with the community and the people we serve.
The Center for Women helps women in transition achieve and maintain economic independence by providing and referring career, educational, and financial resources.
YWCA Greater Pittsburgh empowers women and their families, advocates for fair and equitable conditions, and challenges social and racial injustice.
The mission of Strong Women, Strong Girls is to raise ambition for women and girls by fostering cycles of mutual empowerment through mentoring.
Pennsylvania Women Work is dedicated to empowering women in transition through job readiness, emotional growth, education, training and employment. Pennsylvania Women Work provides free services to thousands of women each year.