23.11.2012 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November 2012

The world was shocked by the brutal attack on 9 October against Malala Yousafzai, a fourteen year old girl, shot for claiming her right and that of other girls to an education.

This attack has shined the spotlight on the prevalence of violence against girls and women. The story of Malala Yousafzai is sadly far from unique. Across the world, girls and women face violence as they try to exercise their basic rights, including that of education. Sexual harassment and assault, bullying and psychological violence, corporal punishment -- all of these types of violence remain prevalent. Violence, and its threat, is one of the key factors forcing girls to drop out of school.

Complete message (pdf).

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