MOSCOW, September 16 (RIA Novosti) – The British government needs to use more direct action in addressing global violence against women as the problem remains largely unresolved, despite the United Kingdom's recent efforts to tackle the issue.
Preventing violence against women and girls is "a top priority for the coalition government, my ministerial team and me," UK Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening said, The Guardian reported Monday.
The United Kingdom has been taking some steps to fight global violence against women and girls, having organized a major summit on sexual violence this year.
The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict was held in London on June 10-13 and was "the largest gathering ever brought together on the subject," according to the British government's official website.
The summit, attended by 1,700 delegates and 129 country delegations including 79 ministers, "agreed practical steps to tackle impunity for the use of rape as a weapon of war, and to begin to change global attitudes to these crimes," the website reported.
According to Hannah Koroma, director of Women Against Violence and Exploitation (Waves) in Sierra Leone, one of the most crucial steps that need to be taken to reach women and girls is to ensure cooperation between government bodies at both the national and local levels.
It is critical that the international community works with women's rights organizations, which "know the issue [and] know how to address it," Koroma was quoted by The Guardian as saying Monday.
Netty Musanhu, director of the Musasa Project in Zimbabwe, notes that the issue of gender inequality is the root cause of sexual abuse.
"The root cause of violence is the inequality, it's patriarchy, it's socialization. Men have been socialized that it's OK to beat up women. Women have been socialized to accept it and to normalize it," Musanhu said, The Guardian reported.
The main reasons cited by female survivors for not seeking help after sexual abuse were a perception of violence as normal and justified, according to the World Bank's 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development.
According to a September 2014 UN report on violence against children, one in 10 girls worldwide are facing sexual abuse.
In their lifetime, 35 percent of women will experience at least one form of violence, while 30 percent will experience violence from their current or former partner, according to another report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2013.