, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 7 – The United Nations has kicked off a campaign in Nairobi to mobilize people around the world to take part in a drive to stop the pandemic of violence suffered by women at the hands of men.
The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) launched a website to inspire individual efforts aimed at eradicating violence against women, such as reaching out to school students, volunteering at local shelters, advocating for legislation or donating funds for programmes that protect women and girls.
The Say NO " Unite to End Violence against Women initiative" website also aims to showcase the widespread problem and highlight action to combat the scourge.
Estimates show around 70 per cent of all women have been victim to some kind of violence.
"We know that violence against women is a problem with solutions," said UNIFEM Executive Director In Alberdi after visiting patients at a one-stop health clinic for women victims of sexual violence in Nairobi, to jump-start the international effort.
"What I have seen first-hand today in Kenya is the impact of effective work at the grassroots level, yet there is an urgent need for governments to make this issue a top priority and take decisive action," said Ms. Alberdi.
Counting efforts by individuals, governments and civil society groups, the campaign has targeted 100,000 actions by March 2010 and 1 million by this time next year.
As an incentive, the luxury watch manufacturer OMEGA has pledged Sh3.7 million to the scheme for the first 50,000 actions registered on the website, thanks to efforts by UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman.