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Amnesty International supporting women in the Pacific

Amnesty International supporting women in the Pacific this White Ribbon Day

Amnesty International is calling on New Zealanders to take action in combating gender-based violence in the Pacific this White Ribbon Day, 25 November.

“We’re asking Kiwis to show they are against violence towards women by not only wearing a white ribbon this Thursday, but also signing our petition demanding Pacific Island leaders keep their promise to address this widespread problem,” says Amnesty International’s Activism Support Manager, Margaret Taylor.

Rates of violence against women in the Pacific Islands remain some of the highest in the world, which has a devastating impact not only on individual women, but on communities and the Pacific region as a whole. In Papua New Guinea, for example, an average of 70% of women nationwide has experienced domestic violence1.

Despite a pledge made by leaders at the 2009 Pacific Islands Forum to eliminate violence against women in the region, to date, little has been done to transform their words into action.

While welcoming the first meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum Reference Group to Address Sexual and Gender-Based Violence held last week in Suva, Amnesty International is seeking further information as to how and when the Group plans to achieve its objectives.

“It is not enough to just pay lip service to eliminating gender violence. Pacific leaders must make every effort to live up to their obligations under international law to address violence against women and start acting on their pledge,” adds Taylor.

As well as campaigning in local communities around the country, Amnesty International will also be at U2’s 360° World Tour Auckland concerts this Thursday and Friday collecting signatures for their petition.

Amnesty International is a supporting organisation of White Ribbon Day (25 November) - the international day when people wear a white ribbon to show that they do not condone violence towards women. That day also kicks off the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, which runs until 10 December – International Human Rights Day. These dates further underline that violence against women is a grave abuse of human rights.

As part of Amnesty International’s campaign to end violence against women, the organisation is asking New Zealanders to join its call to Pacific leaders to uphold their commitment made in the 2009 Pacific Islands Forum Communiqué to “eradicate sexual and gender-based violence.”


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