Elimination of Violence against Women

Violence against women is pervasive, taking many forms and affecting every society. Whether the context is rape used as a tool of war, sexual slavery, domestic abuse, or female genital mutilation, in all cases, violence against women violates and impairs or nullifies the women’s human rights and is an obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of equality, development and peace.

Photo of a women smiling

This was explicitly recognised at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 in Beijing, where delegates from 189 countries identified violence against women as one of the critical areas of concern that must be addressed world-wide in order for women to achieve equality with men.

At the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission on Human Rights and in other fora, Canada supports resolutions calling for the elimination of violence against women (including with respect to the girls, honour crimes, and the elimination of traditional or customary practices affecting the health of women and girls, including female genital mutilation). Canada was also instrumental in ensuring sexual and gender-based crimes were included in the draft Statute for the International Criminal Court.

Canada’s work at the UN has contributed to the development of a strong Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and the establishment and renewal, via the annual Canadian-led Resolution on the elimination of violence against women, of the mandate for a UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences. The Special Rapporteur’s role is to seek and receive information on violations and develop recommendations on eliminating violence against women and remedying its consequences.

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