We live in a world where women live in constant danger. It’s a harsh reality to learn that: 1 in 3 women around the world will experience physical/sexual violence by a partner … About 140M women suffer from female genital mutilation/cutting. Three million girls a year are at risk … Globally, 38% of all murdered women were killed by their intimate partners … Women are 2-4 times more likely than men to become infected with HIV during intercourse. Forced sex or rape increases this risk … More than 64 million girls worldwide are child brides … Women and girls represent 55 percent of the estimated 20.9 million victims of forced labor worldwide … Women and girls represent 98 percent of the estimated 4.5 million forced into sexual exploitation.
Zonta Foothills Club of Boulder County joins in fighting this problem that is ruining the lives of women and girls … We will wear orange throughout November in support of “Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women” a Zonta International campaign to raise awareness of and increase actions to end violence against women and girls. “We believe that sustainable prevention requires an understanding of the root causes and the use of multiple complementary strategies operating on individual, relationship, and the community and society levels, starting early in life during childhood, continuing in the schools and continuing during adulthood,” explains Maria Jose, Landeira Oestergaard Zonta International President.
Sexual violence is one of the most pervasive human rights violations and a global epidemic. It knows no national or cultural barriers and affects millions of women and girls in peacetime and conflict. It includes physical and sexual violence, and harmful practices such as rape, female genital cutting and human trafficking. Violence against women and girls threatens countries, inhibits economic progress, and prevents women from contributing to their community and creating better lives for themselves and their families. In our own backyards violence against women is hidden in the most unsuspecting places, on our streets, in our schools, or maybe even in a right in your neighborhood. In Colorado 1 in 4 women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. Whether it is rape, child sexual assault, dating or domestic violence incest, human trafficking, it is in all strata of our society. But yet it is estimated that under 10% of sexual assaults are actually reported to police.
As a community, Boulder County can only reverse this trend if we advocate for programs that educate and lay the ground work for change. Zonta Foothills Club of Boulder County salutes groups in our community like Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA), Abby’s Voice, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE), St. Vrain Safe Shelter and CU Women and Gender Studies Program and others who work with us to address reverse this epidemic. Their efforts must be recognized in our community.
Together we are saying that we can no longer tolerate exploitation of women and that college campuses must not look the other way to traditions of drinking, hazing and sexual exploitation. As a community we are reaching out to men, women and children to educate and establish an understanding the intricate web of violence. Men and boys must be empowered to speak with a unified voice making violence not just a women’s problem but broader societal issue. Zonta Foothills Club of Boulder County asks you to recruit you spouse, your brother, your neighbor or your son…inform them of the facts surrounding this social tragedy urge them to be an agent for change for all of our daughters.
To learn more visit http://www.zontafoothills.org/.