The United Nations hosted an event titled "A Life Free from Violence: It's Women's Right" Monday, to mark the International Human Rights Day.
This was part of the "Sixteen Days of Activism" initiative in China in 2001. People have been urged to wear a white ribbon as an individual statement to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.
The 16-day activity has united government departments, international organizations, NGOs, Chinese and foreign media, and youth to join forces, and called on every member of society to play an individual role and join collective efforts to build a world free from violence against women. It pools data about violence against women worldwide and showcases initiatives taken in various regions to eliminate it.
The event is co-sponsored by the United Nations Theme Group on the Rule of Law and the Media Watch Network, with funding from the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). The Media Watch Network is a NGO established to monitor how women are portrayed in the mass media and to raise gender awareness among media workers.
Kerstin Leitner, the UN Resident Coordinator in China, and Liu Hairong, vice-president of the All-China Women's Federation, spoke today on behalf of the United Nations and the National Coordinating Group for Protecting the Rights of Women and Children.
The event was organized shortly after the establishment of the National Coordinating Group, which was composed of 14 ministries and institutions.
The formation of the group shows that China is making significant strides in recognizing the importance of coalitions to end violence, value human rights and speak out forcefully against injustice, said Leitner.
In China, the new Marriage Law, adopted in April 2001, stipulates penalties for perpetrators of domestic violence.
(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2001)