Sexual and gender-based violence is not a new phenomenon. But a global effort to address the problem, better educate communities, and build and strengthen systems to respond to violence when it happens -- both in healing the victims and punishing the perpetrators -- will go a long way to stopping it.
In Peru, women face a number of inequalities and barriers, including a large gender pay gap, early marriage and pregnancy, sexism in the media, and attitudes that they should only care for children and do housework. But chief among the challenges these women confront daily is domestic and gender-based violence.
KARACHI, Pakistan -- Violence against women and girls goes on every day in every country, including those officially at peace -- but it doesn't make headlines. One in three women worldwide are victims of physical or sexual violence -- a far higher number than people affected worldwide by terrorism. Allowing this to continue is as unthinkable as allowing ISIS to rampage and kill wherever it pleases.
Tech projects aimed at women's safety are hot right now: a new one pops up every couple of weeks. It's easy to get excited about them, because violence against women is a persistent problem, and tech holds the promise of a shiny, new, and groundbreaking solution. But there's a lot below the surface.
Over ten years ago, on December 26, 2004, an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia triggered one of the deadliest tsunamis ever recorded, an event that ushered the destruction of over 200,00 lives -- and even more livelihoods -- throughout Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the east coast of Africa.
Many governments still do not see the need to allocate or increase resources for efforts that would strengthen health systems to reduce maternal mortality, address violence against women, ensure access to sexual and reproductive health care, and end child marriage. In fact, these areas should be priorities if we are to achieve sustainable development for generations to come.
It is documented that Ebola virus remains in the sperm and breast milk of survivors, for up to 90 days or longer, indicating that the virus is sexually and maternally transmitted. Aid agencies distribute condoms to men who recovered from Ebola, disregarding reported failures in adherence to "don't have sex for 3 months."
Women around the world are challenging narratives that support discrimination, marginalization, sectarianism, violence, and extremism. They have been at the forefront of bringing communities together and building peace. Their role in fighting against militarization, terrorism, and religious extremism is critical, and we must strengthen their networks and support mechanisms.