United Methodist Women UNiTE to End Global Violence Against Women
United Methodist Women affirms its commitment to combat global violence against women by supporting the UNiTE campaign to end violence against women. The UNiTE campaign was launched in 2008 by United Nations (U.N.) Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to influence laws and policies, mobilize the public and partner with governments and organizations to end violence against women.
For the past few decades, a global awareness of violence against women has increased, inspiring more research and more activism in addressing the problem. Yet it is still estimated that up to 70 percent of women experience violence, and blatant impunity for violence against women still exists. The goal of UNiTE is for all countries, by 2015, to (1) adopt and enforce laws to address and punish all forms of violence against women and girls, (2) adopt and implement multi sectoral national action plans, (3) strengthen data collection on the prevalence of violence against women, (4) increase public awareness and social mobilization, and (5) address sexual violence in conflict.
United Methodist Women has a long history of involvement in projects that address violence against women. At the grass-roots level, United Methodist Women supports dozens of projects around the world that provide services for women and girl survivors of violence, it trains community leaders in how to address gender-based violence, and it educates about political advocacy. Nationally, United Methodist Women is active in engaging local units in the dialogue around violence against women, especially domestic violence.
And at the international policy level, United Methodist Women is an active supporter of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 (and its descendant resolutions) that supports women in peacemaking, peacekeeping and decision making in times of conflict and conflict resolution. Resolution 1325 is intimately connected to ending violence against women because historically women have been excluded from the peace process, leaving them vulnerable to more violence and dismissing the violence done to them during war as acceptable collateral damage.
All—women, men, and youth—are invited to be involved. More and more men are taking a stand to end violence against women and are specifically included in the UNiTE campaign through the Network of Men Leaders, which “supports the work of women around the world to defy destructive stereotypes, embrace equality, and inspire men and boys everywhere to speak out against violence.” The actions of men, be they as subtle as being nonviolent role models and demonstrating a positive masculinity or as explicit as passing new laws, are necessary for ending violence against women and creating a world that is safe and just for all.