Friday, 8 March 2013

International Women's Day 2013 - A Promise is a Promise. Time to End Domestic Violence.

Today is International Women's Day.

I wonder what that means to you? Is is a day for celebration? A day for holding hands with our sisters across the globe and standing in unity, supporting those for whom life can be a struggle? Or is it a day for political campaigning to make a change for women who experience abuse, violence and discrimination? I have read some debate in the papers today and some questioning if it is possible to celebrate at the same time as taking time to think about things suck human trafficking, female genital mutilation and domestic violence. I think it is possible to do all three - we women can consider each other, campaign for each other and celebrate each other within the same day. We should be doing it every day!

The theme for International Women's Day this year has been 'A promise is a promise - time to end domestic violence.'  UN research has shown that around 603 million women world wide at this moment in time are facing domestic violence. Nearly 70% of women across the globe face abuse at some time in their life and violence against women caused more death and injury among the global female population than cancer, malaria, road traffic accidents and war. In the UK, one in four women have experienced domestic violence. Two women a week are killed by current or former partners in England and Wales. This is something that has to change and governments across the UK need to make changes to ensure perpetrators of domestic violence are bought to justice and women protected.

Yesterday, AVON ambassador, Alesha Keyes, spent the day leading AVON's 'In Her Name' campaign against domestic violence. AVON have recently completed a survey on domestic violence and, throughout the day, Alesha spent time sharing some of the findings with the media. Findings such as the fact that;

One in five 16-18 year-olds did not think, or weren't sure, if pressure from a partner to have sex or engage in sexual acts meant domestic violence.

One in five 16-18 year-olds weren't sure if slapping or hitting was a sign of domestic violence. 

I find these statistics worrying. Clearly, there is a great need for education and awareness about respect for each other and what constitutes violence within relationships. It makes me wonder what we can do, everyone of us.  What do you think? 

You can make a stand by buying and wearing this pretty necklace as a symbol of support and solidarity for each other and a stand against domestic violence. What's more £1.76 from each necklace sold will go to charities who support women who have been affected by domestic violence. You can buy yours now from our online brochure. (I'm an AVON Lady now in addition to everything else, I really need to write some catch up posts on this blog!

For us, today has been a day of thinking of others, campaigning but also of celebration. I and my two beautiful daughters have celebrated each other and shared a meal and we've been interested to learn what others across the world have been doing in celebration. In China, International Women's Day is given as a holiday for women only and employers give gifts such as cinema tickets. Other countries, such as Russia celebrate the day with special meals and flowers. I think we, in the UK, have a long way to go to make this day as big a day of celebration and campaigning as it could be. I'm already committed to organising something more next year. 

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