To Stop Violence Against Women respect for women's human rights is essential
Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic. At least one out of every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Every year, millions of women are raped by partners, relatives, friends and strangers, by employers and colleagues, soldiers and members of armed groups. Violence in the family is endemic all over the world; the overwhelming majority of victims are women and girls.
In the USA, for example, women account for around 85 per cent of the victims of domestic violence. The World Health Organization has reported that up to 70 per cent of female murder victims are killed by their male partners. Small arms and light weapons are the main tools of almost every conflict and, according to the UN Secretary-General, women and children account for nearly 80 per cent of the casualties.
As a human rights organization, Amnesty International cannot remain silent in the face of this suffering. We campaign against all of forms of violence against girls and women, wherever that violence happens and whoever perpetrates it.
Violence against women violates women's rights to life, physical and mental integrity, to the highest attainable standard of health, to freedom from torture and their sexual and reproductive rights. Upholding human rights, including women's sexual and reproductive rights is essential to preventing and ending gender-based violence. The human rights of girls and women are also at stake whenever gender-based violence against them goes unchallenged and wherever survivors are denied access to the full range of remedies to which they are entitled.
Amnesty International supports women in claiming their rights. The lived experience of girls and women including of those with whom we work directly, shows how central are sexual and reproductive rights to their freedoms including their right to be free from gender-based violence and as a remedy where they have been subjected to such violence:
Forced and child marriage is a violation of girls' and women's sexual and reproductive rights.
Denying women access to reproductive health services is a violation of their reproductive rights.
Denying women access to reproductive health services is a violation of their reproductive rights. Denying them access to lifesaving obstetric care is a violation of their right to life and a form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
Forced abortions or sterilizations carried out by family planning officials or others acting in an official capacity violate reproductive rights and are grave violations of physical and mental integrity amounting to torture.
Obstructing rape survivors' access to legal abortion services is a violation of their sexual and reproductive rights.
Women must have access to safe and legal abortion services in cases of unwanted pregnancy as a result of rape, sexual assault or incest.
Imprisonment or other criminal sanctions for seeking or having an abortion is a violation of women's reproductive rights.
Women must have access to safe and legal abortion services where continuation of pregnancy poses a risk to their life or grave risk to their health.
Individuals have the right to seek, receive and impart information in relation to sexuality and reproduction without unreasonable restrictions. They have the right to access to information and services regarding sexual and reproductive health, including in relation to prevention of sexually transmitted infections.
Women have the right to not be denied maternal health care, which should be accessible, affordable, adequate and of sufficiently high quality, taking into account their cultural needs. They have the right to access health care without discrimination.