Today marks the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. I am proud to join millions of activists around the world campaigning to end the terrible epidemic of gender-based violence.
Two women are killed every week in England and Wales by a current or former partner. Worldwide, one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence — mostly perpetrated by an intimate partner. This is reality for women and girls that shames us all.
But violence against women and girls is not inevitable. We must challenge deep-rooted social norms and attitudes that lead to gender-based violence. Evidence shows that investing in women’s rights organisations is crucial to the prevention of gender based violence worldwide.
The best possible prevention to violence against women and girls is education. The government must introducing statutory, age-appropriate sex and relationships education in primary and high schools to ensure every child learns about healthy, respectful friendships and relationships from the earliest possible age.