November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It’s a day started by the United Nations General Assembly, and it aims to take on the challenge of exactly what it says – end violence against women and girls all over the world.
In Australia, the often quoted statistic is that one woman every week dies violently.
As I’m writing, our death toll for the year stands at 64 women and 24 kids – and the year isn’t done yet. That number is already up from last year’s count of 63 women, again, far more than one a week.
It’s not just Australia, sadly. Here are some global stats:
One in every three women and girls will be the victim of physical or sexual violence. Most of the time, the perpetrator is that woman’s partner.
Only 52% of married women get to make their own choices about contraceptives and sexual health. Speaking of marriage, almost 750 million women and girls in the world today were married before they turned 18.
An adolescent girl is murdered somewhere in the world every 10 mins.
In the USA, up to 70% of women have lived through physical or sexual violence, meaning that more women have been abused than not.
If I’ve had to yell it one, I’ve had to yell it a million times: women deserve better. The most dangerous thing in our lives shouldn’t be the fact that we’re women, but here we are.
It’s hard to look at the progress being made, but I do try. I know it can feel like one of those problems that seems to be too big to ever be solved, but I promise there is progress.
Work is being done across the globe to end things like female genital mutilation, child marriage, and pulling girls out of school because of their gender. Every small win means a better future for girls, and that’s worth noticing.
Ending violence against women is a massive challenge, but it’s one that I like to hope is possible. Not just in Australia, but globally.