The Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Libya, Martin Kobler, gave the following message on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women:
Gender-based violence is the most extreme form of the universal and systemic inequality experienced by women and girls. It knows no geographic, socio-economic or cultural boundaries.
One in three women worldwide continue to fall victim to some form of physical or sexual violence. Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation. It destroys families and communities.
Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the start of a 16-day campaign to stand up as a united community and say no to the continuation of this global pandemic. On this day, we celebrate the Libyan women who are tirelessly working to build peace, fighting for the protection of women and girls and supporting survivors of gender-based violence.
On this day, we also must remember Libya’s female human rights defenders, who due to their commitment, were exposed to different forms of violence, including death.
Women and girls deserve to live without fear of violence. They deserve to live with dignity, as equal citizens, and to contribute to building Libya. For that, women need functional security institutions to protect them and a functional judiciary system to access justice. They also need a health system that provides psychological and social support to survivors of violence.
They need peace and security in Libya to permit institutions to function in favor of both women and men. On this day, I call on all Libyans to stand and demand an end to violence against women and girls. I also call on Libyan political leaders to advance peace and good governance for the sake of their citizens. We all have a role to play.
The UN stands committed to play its role and I urge you to play yours.