Scottish political leaders call for an end to VAWG | ActionAid UK

Scottish political leaders call for an end to VAWG

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Scottish political leaders Nicola Sturgeon, Kezia Dugdale, Ruth Davidson, Willie Rennie and Patrick Harvie have come together to support ActionAid’s Fearless campaign and demand an end to violence against women around the world.

The three political leaders were photographed together ahead of a special debate in the Scottish Parliament to recognise global efforts to end violence against women and mark the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.

Local volunteers for the anti-poverty charity ActionAid also showed their support for the campaign by standing outside the Scottish Parliament with message boards bearing lines of poetry written by women from across the globe. Inspired by the theme ‘messages to the women of tomorrow’, they read:

  • “Together we are strong. Together we will win.” — Erica, UK
  • “I want a city where women can feel free.” — Rama, Nepal

Violence impacts millions of women around the world. World Health Organisation statistics show that about 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced either physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.

New polling from ActionAId has revealed that 49% of Scottish women have experienced some form of harassment in the last month. 49% also first experienced some form of harassment aged 18 or younger

In some of the world’s poorest countries brave women are working together to end this violence for good – and they are getting results. These grassroots women’s groups make a huge difference, yet they are critically underfunded.

Jessica Njui, a women’s rights activist with the Africa Youth Trust in Kenya, said:

“It’s great that Scotland’s top political leaders have joined together to back this vital campaign and demand an end to violence against women.

“Violence is a global epidemic. It strips women of their rights, stops them from going to school or work, and holds them back from making a better world for their daughters.

“But behind every statistic is a real woman. Women who face harassment and abuse in their daily lives. It is appalling and unacceptable that this is happening. That’s why ActionAid is calling on the UK Government to support the life changing work of grassroots women’s rights organisations in developing countries. No matter where in the world she lives, no woman should have to live in fear of violence.”

Ends

Notes to editors

  • Learn more about ActionAid’s Fearless campaign — www.actionaid.org.uk/fearless
  • Today’s debate in the Scottish Parliament: Recognising the 16 days of activism against violence against women — http://bb.parliament.scot/#20161201
  • World Health Organisation statistics indicate that about 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. — http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/ 
  • Headline poll results:
    • 49% of women have experienced some form of harassment in the last month
    • 12% of women first experienced some form of harassment under the age of 10. 49% first experienced some form of harassment aged 18 or younger
    • 72% of women have done something to guard themselves against the threat of harassment
  • All poll figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1038 adults, of which 111 are in Scotland. Fieldwork was undertaken between  1st — 2nd November 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB women (aged 18+).

David Gordon/ActionAid