Statement from the Communist Party of Britain and its Women’s Organiser CAROL STAVRIS to mark UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25)
Throughout the world, November 25th is recognised as the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. World Health Organisation research estimates that one in three women globally experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. Most violence comes from an intimate partner. In poor regions of the world, in war zones and in countries with authoritarian regimes, women’s health, wellbeing and safety are badly compromised. In countries with histories of misogyny, levels of femicide – the killing of women because they are women – have always been high. Some progressive governments, for example in Mexico, are now recognising this and attempting to change their cultures. Despite inconsistencies in data collection from country to country, it is also clear that rape is a major issue across the world. In some developed countries, including Britain and the US, levels of prosecution and conviction for rape have fallen sharply within the past five years. In Britain, evidence is emerging that most girls face some sexual harassment from an early age at school. The outbreak of Covid-19 has intensified all forms of sex-based violence in what the UN-Women organisation describes as a ‘shadow pandemic; in particular, there has been a global rise in domestic violence. None of this is inevitable. It can be ended. The Communist Party of Britain demands:
- Immediate government action to challenge and prevent violence against women and girls at work, in society and in schools and colleges.
- Zero tolerance of all sexual harassment and sexual exploitation within our society.
- Action to provide and fund essential life-saving services for women and girls who have endured sex-based violence.
- Real commitment and urgency to tackle institutional misogyny, sexism and racism within our police forces.
- Investment in measures to change the culture which tolerates, exploits and so perpetuates violence against women and girls.
- Immediate ratification of the Istanbul Convention and its enshrinement in British law to give support and protection – free from discrimination – to migrant women.
The Communist Party reaffirms its revolutionary commitment to the struggle against the oppression of women, for women’s rights and for socialism.