WHO welcomes the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict signed by 113 Member States attending the 68th UN General Assembly in New York. By signing the declaration, Member States pledged to end the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war, which terrorizes communities during conflict and has very serious health consequences. The declaration sends an important message to the victims of these crimes that the international community has not forgotten them, and to the perpetrators of rape that they will be held to account.
20 June 2013 -- Physical or sexual violence is a public health problem that affects more than one third of all women globally, according to a new report. “These findings send a powerful message that violence against women is a global health problem of epidemic proportions,” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General, WHO. “We also see that the world’s health systems can and must do more for women who experience violence.”
Seven governments adopt statement on violence against women and girls at 66th World Health Assembly
21 May 2013 - Ministers of health from the governments of Belgium, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, United States of America, and Zambia issued a statement to declare violence against women and girls "a major global public health, gender equality and human rights challenge, touching every country and every part of society" and proposed an agenda item on the topic for the next Assembly. The statement underlines the key role of the health sector in preventing and responding to the problem in an approach that engages governments and civil society from local to international level.