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Flags of Commonwealth member states

Commonwealth Declares War On Violence Against Women

By Iminza Keboge
Published November 27, 2019

Baroness Patricia Scotland, a Dominican lawyer, is the first female and the sixth Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.Though physical violence is a leading cause of death in women and World Health Organisation, a specialised agency of the United Nations, estimates that one
in three women worldwide has been a victim of sexual or physical violence in their lifetime, the abuse remains largely unreported due to impunity, silence,
stigma, fear and shame.

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The Commonwealth, a bloc of 53 countries with an estimated population of 2.4 billion people, has announced a new partnership designed to reduce domestic
violence in member countries.

Saying gender-based violence affects everyone in society, Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, calls for the sensitisation of “everyone
to support vulnerable individuals, protect survivors of violence and bring perpetrators to justice.”

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Commonwealth Declares War on Violence against Women“We must say NO MORE to violence against women and girls in both words and action,” Scotland said while signing a memorandum of understanding with NO MORE Foundation, a global movement with 40 international chapters and 1 400 allied organisations that are working together to stop and prevent domestic violence
and sexual assault.

“We must do everything we can to ensure every child in our home and our community grows up in a safe environment. This is the only way to fulfil our
Sustainable Development Goals commitments,” Scotland said.

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Pamela Zaballa, the Global Executive Director of NO MORE Foundation, said her organisation and she hope to involve “a wide array of governmental, business,
human rights and community leaders in this initiative.” and that “Together, we can dramatically increase awareness and action to prevent violence and meet
the 2030 sustainable development goals.”

Headquartes of the Commonwealth in London, BritainThe partnership between the Commonwealth and No More Foundation was announced at an event to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women that brought together representatives of high commissions, businesses, human rights groups and women’s rights organisations to the headquarters of the Commonwealth in the British capital, London.

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The Commonwealth/No More Foundation partnership is designed to help member countries record accurate data on the prevalence of violence, deliver grassroots
projects, train community leaders, educate bystanders’ responses and provide awareness resources.