We know the facts. 1 in 3 women say they have experienced violence at the hands of their partner or husband in the course of their lifetime. That’s over 700 million women. Gender based violence is not just a moral outrage, it can stunt economic growth for a country by as much as 3%.
The most recent UN analysis is that violence against women “persists at alarmingly high levels.” Whilst there are laws in place intended to protect women, they are often not implemented. However, we do know that even small infusions of capital into well designed and managed programs addressing both personal and communal security can have dramatic effects.
Never is violence against women more apparent than in conflict situations. The use of rape as a weapon of war has become all too commonplace. In a recent New York Times article, George Clooney, Akshaya Kumar and John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project and Rockflower Advisory Board Member, detail the continued desecration of the lives of women in Darfur and the precise measures needed to be taken to prevent further atrocities. The bottom line is we must not look away.