Today London was home to thousands of women marching across London towards a rally held in Trafalgar square, in solidarity with Europe’s largest women’s march: ‘Million Women Rise’ against male violence in all its forms.
The aim of Million Women Rise is to end male violence against women and children. The campaign believes that solidarity amongst women is key to achieving this objective, as – ‘Unity is strength and the voices of many are louder together, than a single voice.’
MWR describes male violence against women and children as a ‘global pandemic’ which devastates lives, communities and ‘threatens to undermine efforts to bring about sustainable development.’ This campaign is an international struggle, for the freedom and emancipation of women.
MWR refers to statistics, highlighting UK’s reality today. These facts are unacceptable and evidence the immediate need for change. They include:
- ‘One woman in four will experience domestic violence at some point in her life.
- Domestic violence has more repeat victims than any other crime (on average there will have been 35 assaults before a victim calls the police).
- Two women are murdered every week by their partner or ex-partner.
- One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute.
- One woman in four will experience sexual assault as an adult.
- Only 5% of rapes reported to the police result in the perpetrator being convicted in court.
- Women are more worried about rape than any other crime.
- 250 cases of forced marriage are reported each year.
- Up to 1,420 women per year are trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation
- One woman a month is murdered in the name of ‘so called’ honour.
- Nearly 90% of local authorities do not have a rape crisis centre.
- Over 20,000 girls could be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK.’
Previously I discussed the ‘Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence’ aka the ‘Istanbul Convention’. This is a comprehensive treaty covering many forms of violence against women and is the most far reaching International legally binding instrument in this area. To date, the UK Government have failed to ratify this treaty.
In light of the reality and scale of this violence, it is shocking that the UK Government, in its drive to achieve cuts, have cut many services which work to support women. This has negatively impacted upon the capacity and availability of such crucially needed assistance.
Polly Neate, Chief, executive of Women’s Aid wrote In an open letter to Theresa May on 3rd December 2013: “I fear that the scale of cuts to local authority funding for specialist domestic violence services will now prevent your government from achieving its ambitions. We have reached a crisis, and the result will be more women and children killed and hurt though domestic violence.”
“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” Gwendolyn Brooks
For further information on the Million Women Rise Campaign follow this link here.