Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Baroness Anelay said:
Around the world 35% of women and girls will experience some form of physical or sexual violence during their lifetime. More than 700 million women alive today were married as children. 250 million of them were married before the age of 15 and it is estimated that worldwide, over 130 million women and girls have been subjected to female genital mutilation.
Ending this violence against women is a matter of the utmost urgency.
At the root of the abuse women experience - both in peaceful societies and in those struggling with the chaos of conflict are often ideas of women as second class citizens; as objects or property controlled by men. While such attitudes are notoriously difficult to change, education is the key. I am pleased that this years 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which also starts today, focuses on the issue of education.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and the 16 Days campaign continue to educate us all on why we must push ourselves to do more. They inspire us with examples of leadership, courage and innovation which are changing the lives of vulnerable women and girls every, single day.