“International Women’s Day is a call to end violence against women”
H E John Rankin, British High Commissioner
08 March 2013
Eliminating violence against women is a high priority for the UK Government, a priority that fits in with the theme for International Women’s Day 2013 which falls on 8 March – “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”.
Commenting on this, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives, H E John Rankin, said:
“Violence against women is a global crime that comes in many guises, including domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment, abuse in the workplace and sexual violence as a tool of war. We have had many reminders of just how widespread this is in the past few months, from incidents around the world, and with each appalling tale, we realise anew what a barrier such violence poses to true gender equality.
This is what makes this year’s theme for the International Day of Women all the more pertinent. It is a reminder that we need to replace our attitudes of resignation and exclamations of shock with a call to action and drive for enforcing existing laws to punish perpetrators of violence against women and create new laws where none exist.
Violence against women is an issue that exists everywhere – no country, no community, is exempt from it. The UK government recognises the need to combat this problem at home and is taking positive steps to this end; and internationally, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, launched an initiative in 2012 to help prevent sexual violence in conflict. Here, in Sri Lanka and Maldives, we will continue to play our part in supporting the energy, the courage and the determination of both men and women who are working to tackle the continuing problem of violence against women.
Activism on this should not be left to a few brave people; it should be embraced by us all. International Women’s Day 2013 is a call to all of us to end violence against women.”
British High Commission Colombo