Time to end ‘scourge’ of violence against women - President Higgins

‘Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world’

President Michael D Higgins has invited  men and people of all genders “to stand in solidarity with women, and develop a strong coalition working towards the achievement of gender equality”. File photograph: EPA

President Michael D Higgins has invited men and people of all genders “to stand in solidarity with women, and develop a strong coalition working towards the achievement of gender equality”. File photograph: EPA

 

President Michael D Higgins has said it is “high time that we end the scourge” of violence against women, in remarks to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

“Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today,” President Higgins said.

Tackling the issue of gender based violence was a key step towards a more inclusive society, he said.

President Higgins said that in 2015 he agreed, at the request of the UN, to become one of the champion world leaders of the HeForShe campaign, to advance gender equality.

“In that context, in March 2016 I held consultations with staff and volunteers of organisations with a significant male membership,” he said on Saturday.

“I now repeat my invitation to men and people of all genders to stand in solidarity with women, and develop a strong coalition working towards the achievement of gender equality.

“I will re-engage with those institutions and organisations that are in a position to influence men of all ages,” to help address the issue, he said.

On Friday domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid launched its 2018 Femicide Report, which found seven women had died violently this year.

More than half of women killed in Ireland were killed by a current or ex-partner or husband, according to a review by Women’s Aid of female homicides over the last three decades.

Since 1996, some 225 women have been killed in Ireland and in cases that have been resolved 98 women (56 per cent) were found to have been killed by a current or former partner or husband.

Nine out of 10 women killed were killed by a man known to them, with 23 of the 225 killed by a stranger.

Some 137 women (61 per cent) were killed in their own homes, and in the 20 cases where a woman was killed by a relative, 16 were killed by their sons.

Women’s Aid called for the introduction of formal reviews of domestic killings “as a matter of urgency to help protect women and children and save lives”.

The charity said automatic reviews in the aftermath of domestic killings to understand what occurred, would help agencies in the prevention of future cases where women were at risk in the domestic environment.