November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The days that follow, culminating on Human Rights Day on December 10, form the "16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence" campaign. Speaking in support of day and the campaign, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's IssuesMelanne Verveer released a video message describing examples of innovative programs in India, Senegal, Brazil, and Afghanistan that address violence against women.
Ambassador Verveer said, "The United States is working bilaterally and multilaterally to define gender-based violence not as solely a woman's issue, but one of international human rights. We are taking action on the ground, training peacekeepers on gender-based violence awareness and prevention activities, working with NGOs to ensure men's engagement in preventing violence against women, and partnering with religious leaders of all faiths to incorporate these messages into their outreach. The economic empowerment of women is also integral to any sustainable approach to eradicating violence against women, as studies show that women who control their own resources are less vulnerable to being targeted because of their gender.
"These 16 Days offer an opportunity to renew the commitment to freeing women from violence, whether the abuse occurs in the home behind closed doors, or in the open fields of armed conflict. Countries cannot progress when half their populations are marginalized and mistreated, and subjected to discrimination. When women are accorded their rights and afforded equal opportunities in education, healthcare, employment, and political participation, they lift up their families, their communities, and their nations -- and act as agents of change. As Secretary Clinton recently noted, 'Investing in the potential of the world's women and girls is one of the surest ways to achieve global economic progress, political stability, and greater prosperity for women -- and men -- the world over.' Thank you for all you are doing in support of ending violence against women."
You can read the complete transcript of her remarks here.