Religious Leaders Add Their Voice to UN Drive to End Violence Against Women

September 25, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: UN News Centre

Religious leaders from Africa, Asia and North America pledged today to help end one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world by signing on to the “Say NO to Violence against Women Campaign,” organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

Representing such diverse faiths as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam, the leaders added their voice to an ever-growing list of governments, civil society groups and individuals who want to eliminate a scourge that affects as many as one in three women and girls.

“Violence against women and girls is a crime and an internationally recognized human rights violation – stopping it is one of the great challenges of our time,” said UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi.

“Engaging religious leaders and communities of faith is essential to weaving a fabric of equality and respect for all persons, their potential, and their right to live a life free from violence,” she added.

The leaders who joined the campaign are all members of Religions for Peace – the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition – which today launched a new partnership with UNIFEM to engage communities of faith around the world to lead efforts to end violence against women.