Uniting for the Rights of Women and Girls

January 15, 2019

Across the globe, women and girls, by virtue of their sex, are susceptible to violence and discrimination. Women and girls worldwide are vulnerable to sexual violence, intimate partner abuse, rape, sex trafficking and sexual exploitation, employment discrimination, sexual harassment and harmful cultural practices, such as forced and child marriage, female genital mutilation and widow burning. They face many sex-discriminatory laws or the discriminatory impact of laws that render them second-class citizens.
  • 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence in her lifetime. (UN Women/WHO)
  • Up to 200 million women and girls are demographically “missing.” (UN) 
  • Almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthdays. Women and girls who experience child marriage are at greater risk of suffering intimate partner violence then those of the same age who were not married early. (UNICEF) 
  • Approximately 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have undergone female genital mutilation. (UNICEF)
  • 45% to 55% of women in the European Union have experienced sexual harassment since the age of 15. (EU)
  • 72% of detected trafficking victims are women and girls. 94% of detected sex trafficking victims are women and girls. (UNODC)

Despite the estimated data, governments’ political will and their investments into protecting and promoting the rights of women and girls are dangerously lagging.

Gender equality is a prerequisite for global sustainable development and a key tenet of the United Nation's 2030 Agenda. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 reminds governments, the United Nations and civil society that achieving gender equality requires eradicating violence and discrimination against women and girls. In fact, SDG Target 5.2 specifically calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking, sexual exploitation and other types of exploitation. 

The 5.2 Global Partnership is dedicated to reaching Target 5.2 by 2030. Together with its grassroots networks and the United Nations, its agencies and regional bodies, the Partnership accelerates action and investments to end violence against women and girls, in particular trafficking and sexual exploitation, sexual violence, and sexual harassment. It invites the collaboration and membership, of the United Nations and its agencies, governments, the private sector, academia, philanthropic entities and individuals,  and other members of civil society to reach these goals.

The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) and the Comisión para la investigación de los malos tratos contra las mujeres are hosting a global conference in Madrid, Spain on Feb. 4-5, 2019 to further build the architecture of the 5.2 Global Partnership, and we want you to join us. Global advocates are needed to work together toward innovative solutions to tackle human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and girls. In turn, you will be afforded the opportunity to network and collaborate with other worldwide advocates and experts in the anti-trafficking and women's rights movements.

Speakers will include, among many others, Pilar Llop, Delegate, the Spanish Government’s Office to Combat Violence Against Women, Ministry of the Presidency​; Rachel Moran, author of "Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution;" Dalia Leinarte, Chair of the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW chair); Dr. Ingeborg Kraus, psychologist and traumatologist; survivor leaders Mickey Meji, founder of Kwanele, and Amelia Tiganus, member of Femicido.net; Joaquín Sanchez-Covisa, Spanish Attorney General for Immigration and Trafficking Matters; and Ambassador Per-Anders Sunesson, Ambassador-at-Large on Trafficking in Persons for the Foreign Ministry of Sweden.

We can’t wait to see you in Madrid!

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