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IOGT International is the largest worldwide community of non-governmental organisations with a mission to independently enlighten people around the world of a lifestyle free from alcohol and other drugs.
#LifeSetFree #HeartDriven 

For immediate release: November 25, 2012

Contact: Maik Dünnbier
Policy and Communication Officer
Mobile: +46 721 555 036
E-mail: maik.duennbier@iogt.org
Twitter: @maikduennbier


It Is About Much More Than Awareness

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the need for concrete measures and action by the people and governments on 365 days.

Today the global community  celebrates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women under the leadership of the United Nations. IOGT International and its members from all over the world join wholeheartedly in the quest to committ to concrete actions that deliver change.

"It is important to work for better awareness about Human Rights violations and the alarming circumstances women and girls live in globally," says Kristina Sperkova, Vice-President of IOGT International.
"Domestic violence, gender-based violence, and sexual violence in conflicts are horrendous atrocities against the freedom and dignity of women and girls all over the world. We do believe that these kinds of violence can be eliminated. And we know they must be eliminated, for the sake of women and girls and for the better of whole humanity."

Capturing the spirit of committment to action Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says: ”We must fundamentally challenge the culture of discrimination that allows violence to continue. On this International Day, I call on all governments to make good on their pledges to end all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world, and I urge all people to support this important goal."

Up to 70% of women experience violence in their lifetime. Women between 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria according to World Bank data.
Alcohol use is often and frequently present in those cases. For example in Estonia 70% of all violent crimes are alcohol related. In England and Wales, 58% of all sex offences and rape are alcohol related. In Iceland 71% of cases of domestic violence are attributed to alcohol use. Alcohol use is estimated to be a causal factor in 16% of child abuse and neglect in the European Union. In Mexico, every second woman has suffered violence at the hands of her partner. Two thirds of the cases involve alcohol use. Alcohol is seldom the sole explanation for the use of violence, but it is strikingly often the triggering factor.
Additionally alcohol is often used as an excuse for otherwise socially unacceptable behavior. Sexist comments, jokes and behaviour are excused when the perpetrator has used alcohol. This way social norms are flouted and a culture of discrimmination against women and girls is perpetuated.

”The members of IOGT International truly support the UN in this approach to end discrimmination against women and girls. To eliminate violence against women and girls we need both the governments and the people to take actions against discrimmination and for a change of culture,” says Kristina Sperkova, Vice-President of IOGT International.
”We strongly believe violence against women and girls can be eliminated, if a comprehensive approach to action is taken:
"For the people of the world: I imagine this day alcohol free. How hard can it be? It’s the least to express solidarity with all those women and girls who have suffered and are suffering violence. It is costless and the contribution is priceless. It is obvious from all the statistics that it would make a difference and bring together the element of awareness and an actual deed.

"For the governments of the world on all levels: implement evidence-based, cost-effective alcohol control policies, like higher taxes, a ban of alcohol marketing, higher legal age limits and fewer outlets. They will increase the freedom of women and girls, not least for men, bring change to a culture of discrimmination and contribute largely to our common mission of eliminating violence against women and girls."

References and Sources

What Works to Prevent Partner Violence? An Evidence Overview.
The review focuses on prevention programmes and covers:
- changing gender norms
- childhood exposure to violence
- alcohol use
- women's economic empowerment
- law and justice system reform


Alcohol, trigger of violence and obstacle for gender equality: the Booklet "Alcohol Culture in Gender Zoom"

Alcohol is an obstacle for education of children: a video of the work of WOCHIVI and a study of the work 

WHO Global Status Report on alcohol, 2011

Alcohol marketing objectifies, and sexualizes women:
Monitoring Alcohol Marketing in Africa, MAMPA project, by WHO Africa


Journal ADDICTION: "Vested Interests in Addiction Research and Policy Alcohol policies out of context: drinks industry supplanting government role in alcohol policies in sub-Saharan Africa"

Kristina's Key Quotes 

On the importance of promoting actions to go beyond awareness raising:
“It is important to work for better awareness about Human Rights violations and the alarming circumstances women and girls live in. 
We believe that these kinds of violence can be eliminated. 
To achieve this, it is now more important than ever to take concrete actions, day by day, 365 days.”


On the hope and conviction that violence against women and girls can be eliminated through comprehensive actions:
"For the people of the world: I imagine this day alcohol free. It is costless and the contribution is priceless.
It is obvious from all the statistics that it would make a difference and bring together the element of
awareness and an actual deed.
"

"For the governments of the world on all levels: implement evidence-based, cost-effective alcohol control policies, 
like higher taxes, a ban of alcohol marketing, higher legal age limits and fewer outlets. They will increase the freedom
of women and girls, not least for men, bring change to a culture of discrimmination and contribute largely to our common 
mission of eliminating violence against women and girls."

Press Release
IOGT International |2012|

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