Written by Maria Zafar
On November 25 we entered the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence where people around the world come together to stand up against and call out violence against women and girls.
Gender-based violence (GBV) continues to plague communities worldwide — including here at home in the UK.
From female genital mutilation, child marriage and human trafficking to domestic violence and homicide, women and girls face continued struggles.
It can be hard to understand the difficulties faced by others from the comfort of our homes. That’s why we’ve put together 16 key facts to show just why we need to take action to end violence against women and girls (VAWG).
Here are 16 shocking facts that reveal the horror behind GBV.
- 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime.
- Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by a male partner.
- 200 million women and girls have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).
- Each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18. That is 28 girls every minute.
- It is estimated that up to 10 million children are victims of child sexual exploitation.
- School-related gender-based violence means that 1 in 4 girls say that they never feel comfortable using a school latrine.
- Between 80 and 100 million girls are ‘missing’ from the world’s population – victims of gender-based infanticide, femicide, malnutrition and neglect.
- As many as 1 in 4 women experience physical and/or sexual violence during pregnancy.
- As many as 150 million girls worldwide are raped or subject to sexual violence each year, usually by someone in their family circle.
- Over 700 million women alive today were married as children (under the age of 18).
- There are 5,000 so-called honour killings reported every year around the world. Experts estimate that the actual number of “honour” killings is much higher.
- 30% of females globally have reported that their first sexual experience was forced.
- 58 % of new HIV infections among young persons in 2015 occurred among adolescent girls and young women. Violence or the threat of violence affect the ability of girls and young women to protect themselves from HIV.
- Domestic violence is a global problem that affects 35% of women worldwide.
- Globally, around 137 women are killed by their partner or a family member every day.
- Women between the ages of 15 and 44 are at a higher risk of rape and domestic violence than cancer, car accidents, malaria or being injured in war.
Shocking isn’t it….?
And that’s why here at Islamic Relief, we’re striving for gender justice. However, we need your help too in supporting women and girls across the globe.
Such a snapshot of the struggles that women and girls across the globe face may be shocking to read, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Billions of women and girls continue to face deep-seated inequality and violence every single day. These statistics provide a powerful reminder that we need to do more to combat and raise awareness of VAWG.
We need to do more. And here at Islamic Relief, we’re committed to fighting for gender justice.
We’re standing up for the rights of women and girls across the globe. To end sexual and physical violence, economic, spiritual, political, social and cultural inequality and to empower women and girls to create their own independent futures.
The struggles of women and girls must not be underestimated. Especially when in times of crisis such as war and famine, it’s females who are the most affected.
We’ve seen the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on women and girls facing abuse — trapped at home during lockdown — and things will only get worse.
We’re working with policy makers, inside local communities and NGOs to create positive change.