Women's day

Keeping the promise



© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-1883/Brooks

Violence against girls can take different forms - sexual abuse, rape, incest, forced early marriage, genital mutilation or cutting and exploitation. Girls experience violence in their homes, schools, on the streets, within communities and online in cyberspace.

§ Worldwide, up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under 16.

§ Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18. Violence and abuse characterize married life for many of these girls.

§ Approximately 100 to 140 million girls and women in the world have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting.

§ Worldwide, more than 60% of young people living with HIV are girls, a total of 3.2 million

Gender-based violence is deeply rooted in gender inequality and discrimination. It serves – by intention or effect – to perpetuate male power and control. It is sustained by a culture of silence and denial of the seriousness of the health consequences of abuse.

Violence destroys a girl's confidence and self esteem, causes psychological trauma, unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and HIV, and is a significant contributing factor to girls dropping out of school.

Society pays dearly for the physical and psychological effects of violence against girls and women. The costs are not just incurred through medical care for victims, but also through loss of vitality and productivity. The many men serving prison sentences for gender-specific violent crimes also place a cost burden on the penal system and cause major economic losses for the families concerned.





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