Wien, 26. November 2012 Press release

Spindelegger: "We have to increase our joint efforts to eliminate violence against women"

Vice-Chancellor Spindelegger on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Vienna, 25 November 2012 – "Violence against women and girls is one of the most wide-spread violations of human rights. The facts are appalling: Acts of violence against women between 15 and 44 cause more deaths and disabilities in this group of people worldwide than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war together", Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

"Unfortunately we are noticing a negative trend at the moment. The number of women who fall victim to abuse and murder – through their partners, family members, human traffickers or in the course of deliberate war tactics – has  even increased over the past few years", Spindelegger continued. "The most extreme form of violence is femicide which in many cases follows on from previous acts of violence and the systematic discrimination of women in society."

"We must not condone these developments. They should stir us into action so that we intensify our joint efforts to abolish violence against women", the Vice-Chancellor confirmed. "Austria supports the symposium on "Femicide" held in Vienna tomorrow where experts of the United Nations, the civil society and representatives of states will meet to work out joint strategies for the prevention of femicide over the next few years."

"The killing of women and other acts of violence not only destroy the lives of women, but also families and communities and they prevent sustainable development. For this reason, the promotion of equality and the empowerment of women is also a priority issue of Austria's development cooperation. And prevention of violence plays a dominant role in that. Austrian development cooperation has been promoting projects in Kosovo, for example, that support female victims of domestic violence and provide information about this problem", the Foreign Minister concluded.

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