Millions of women across the world are beaten, killed, bought and sold by men, yet the gruesome violence and cruel treatment they face every day rarely makes headlines in the global media.
The press has “either underreported, ignored or underplayed” five key issues with regard to violations of women’s human rights, says the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) in declaring its support for an ongoing international campaign against gender violence.
The “underreported” stories include rampant domestic violence in Russia, sex slavery in India, self-immolation in Central Asia, gender-based violence and HIV, and “compensation” marriages in several parts of the world.
This is the second time that the UNFPA has joined the “Sixteen Days of Activism” campaign against gender violence. Launched by women’s rights groups in 1991, every year the campaign runs from Nov. 25 through Dec. 10, which marks International Human Rights Day.
UNFPA says that in Russia, at least 14,000 women are killed by their husbands or boyfriends every year. In India, demand is growing for young women trafficked from lower castes and abroad, who are then forced into veritable household sexual slavery.