Subject: ABC: The United Nations is stepping up efforts to tackle with urgency, violence against women.

The United Nations is stepping up efforts to tackle with urgency, violence against women.

Last Updated 27/11/2007, 14:43:22

ABC Radio Australia

It is estimated that around the world, one in three women will experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetimes, and the UN says many attacks also go unreported.

Ros Strong, Australian president of UNIFEM, the UN Development Fund for Women, has told Radio Australia's Connect Asia program as well as targeting domestic violence at a government and private sector level, getting individuals involved has also proven effective.

"Our most significant strategy of late has been to engage men in the program...to say that this is not an issue for women, this is an issue for whole communities," she said.

"We need men to work with us - the good men, the non-perpetrators to say violence against women is just unacceptable."

East Timor campaign

The UN campaign against domestic violence is being taken up with enthusiasm in East Timor, with radio, television and poster advertisements featuring 15 prominent East Timorese men, including President Jose Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.

The ads push the message that men's involvement at all levels is crucial if domestic violence is to be wiped out. UNIFEM spokesman Chris Parkinson says the campaign uses traditional Timorese symbolism to target both men and women.

"We've utilised traditional Timorese understandings of domestic violence and violence against women, and also traditional symbols of women's representation in the of a Babadok, which is a traditional drum that women use in ceremony, and that is specific to women," he said.


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