According to the UN, one in three women in the world suffers physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, 133 million women and children have undergone female genital mutilation and 700 million women are married while still children, 250 million of whom before they reach the age of 15. Episodes of violence against women take place, in variable measure, in every country, society and culture, affecting women regardless of their income level, class, race or ethnic group.
Italy continues to be in the forefront in the defence of women’s rights and in the fight against gender violence, with a view to ensuring the effective defence of those rights and fostering the cultural changes necessary to encourage greater equality between men and women. Italy has made a decisive contribution to international campaigns for the eradication of female genital mutilation and early and forced marriages, not least through projects financed by the Italian Development Cooperation.
The year 2015 has seen the 20th anniversary of the historic 1995 Beijing Conference on Women and the adoption of the gender equality Platform for Action. In September, Premier Renzi announced the Italian government’s intention to earmark 50 million euro over the next two years for projects on behalf of women and girls.
Italy is one of the main supporters of placing women at the centre of development policies over the coming years and, thanks to our commitment to gender equality and the promotion of women’s rights, they have been included specifically in no. 5 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Objectives and transversally in all the others.
Women’s contribution is fundamental also to conflict prevention and resolution initiatives. On 13 October, Italy co-sponsored Resolution no. 2242, which established an informal group of experts on women, peace and security within the UN Security Council. Italy strives to foster broader adherence to the Council of Europe convention on the prevention of and fight against violence against women and domestic violence known as the Istanbul Convention, which is the broadest based international treaty with the purpose of confronting this serious violation of human rights.
G7 Report on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict
The report on the implementation of the pledges undertaken by the G8 members with the April 2013 Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, advances a variety of key initiatives promoted by Italy and its other G7 partners to strengthen the prevention and combatting of sexual violence in conflict situations. The report is available in its entirety, in English, at the following link: https://www.g7germany.de/Content/EN/Artikel/2015/11_en/2015-11-24-g7-erklaerung_en.html?nn=1282190