Millions of people around the world are mobilizing during these days to prevent and eliminate one of the greatest evils of our time: violence against women and girls. Gender-based violence does not distinguish or respect borders.
In the face of this, between November 25 and December 10, governments and civil society mobilize against gender-based violence, be it physical, psychological or sexual violence; feminicide, domestic violence, trafficking in persons; even slavery.
Globally, one in three women experiences physical or sexual violence during her life. It is shocking that, of the total number of women who die in the world, half of them die at the hands of their partners or relatives. Between 2010 and 2018, there were more than 9,414 victims of sexual and in labor trafficking in Peru. Ninety percent were women, mainly in Cusco, Lima, Loreto and Madre de Dios.
Gender-based violence remains invisible due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame associated with it. Its effects are devastating for families and societies, as it is one of the worst human rights violations. Hence the need for a real mobilization of governments and civil society.
The United States supports the Peru’s Action Plan to prevent violence against women. We support policy and regulatory efforts, law enforcement, prevention, treatment, and the elimination of uncoded barriers to discrimination or violation of rights. For example, we support training and technical assistance to judges, prosecutors, police, and public defenders. This includes training on domestic violence for the Callao Police Region as well as the creation of an Emergency Center to receive reports about crime. We also work with the Ministry of Health to strengthen access to services through the “Recovery of Women who Abuse Substances” program.
A more open, inclusive and democratic society that respects the diversity and rights of women, both in the public and private spheres, can better prevent gender-based violence.
In order to recognize the leadership and courage of women around the world, the State Department annually awards the International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award. Since 2007, 127 women from 65 countries, including Peru, have received this award that seeks to highlight the struggle for human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women.
But the prevention of gender violence also involves promoting the economic empowerment of women, a vital promoter of sustainable economic growth. This requires quality education for all who contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty and, in particular, the cycle of domestic violence.
Progress for countries is unattainable if we leave half of the population behind. Human progress requires fighting gender violence in all aspects, including ensuring that women and girls have equal access to education, health, information, technology, finance and markets. Equal rights and equal opportunities are the way to prevent and eliminate gender-based violence, as well as to achieve peace and development.
Ambassador Krishna R. Urs