Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, NY
November 25, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today the United States joins with activists, advocates, and leaders from all over the globe in recognizing the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This day is of particular importance because women continue to be subjected daily to physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse -- regardless of age, race, culture, economic status or location. No country is free of this scourge. In the United States, women experience 2 million injuries and 1200 deaths per year as a result of violence by husbands or intimate partners. Furthermore, research by the United Nations Women’s Fund found that in some countries, up to seventy percent of women have experienced physical or sexual violence by men. In situations of war and conflict, the prevalence of rape and sexual violence is horrific, with thousands of women and girls gang-raped, mutilated, and forced into sexual slavery every single day.
Gender-based violence is a terrible reality that leaders of all nations must address and prevent through national and international action. The Obama Administration has worked with member states in the United Nations to strengthen the international community’s response. In September, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led the Security Council in its adoption of Resolution 1888, which calls upon the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Representative to lead, coordinate and advocate for efforts to prevent sexual violence and to end impunity for perpetrators. The United States has urged the UN General Assembly to highlight issues of sexual violence in its deliberations to create a stronger, more effective women’s agency in the UN. And, in October, the United States strongly supported the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1889, which condemned continuing sexual violence against women in conflict and post-conflict situations and called for a wide range of measures to strengthen the participation of women at all stages of peace processes.
The ability of all women and girls to live free from abuse and fear is a fundamental human right. As we mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the United States renews its resolve and commitment to fight gender-based violence in all its forms. We call upon the international community to collaborate to end these atrocities, to better protect women and girls, and to end impunity for perpetrators of gender based violence.
(To read original statement, visit this U.S. Mission to the United Nations link )