One in five women was assaulted by their partner in 2018, denounces the UN

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The executive director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. EFE / Archive

17.8% of women around the world, about one in five, reported having experienced physical or sexual assault by their partner in 2018, according to a report presented by UN Women on Tuesday.

This percentage is a global average of paired women between the ages of 15 and 49, where the highest percentage of gender-based violence was registered in Oceania (without Australia and New Zealand), with 34.7% (one of every three women); while the lowest percentage was recorded in Europe and North America, 6.1% (one in sixteen).

These are some of the data in the report “The progress of women in the world 2019-2020: Families in a changing world”, in which, by region, Oceania is followed by Central and South Asia, with 23 % of women who claimed to have been attacked in 2018, Africa with 21.5%, North Africa and East Asia with 12.3%, Latin America and the Caribbean with 11.8%, and East and Southeast Asia with 9%.

The document notes the diversity of families in the world and offers recommendations to ensure policies designed to respond to the needs of its most vulnerable members, especially women and girls, since families are a place of “deep insecurity” for them. and it is also where they are most likely to be attacked.

In addition, the text defends that family laws should recognize the rights of women within marriage, divorce and custody of children, so that they have a better guarantee to abandon violent or abusive situations.

With regard to migration, one of the contexts where these effects can be seen more clearly, the United Nations sees as “critical” that women’s residence permits do not depend on the situation of their partners. In addition, it proposes to ensure female access to independent income.

“Today, there are many indicators that women are increasingly able to exercise their will and voice within their families,” explains the UN in the preamble of the report, citing within its explanation the rise in the age of marriage, the recognition of other forms of family or the fall in the birth rate.

In addition, according to the data that UN Women handles, only 38% of the current families in the world are made up of a couple with children, while the extended ones -include other relatives such as grandparents- represent 27%. Single-parent families (8% of the total) are overwhelmingly headed by women and there are more and more families formed by homosexual couples.

UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka warns of efforts to limit women’s rights in the name of “family values”.

“Based on our research and the evidence we have available, we know that there is no ‘normal’ family form and that, in fact, it has never existed,” he says.

The report suggests different fields in which to move to adapt to these changing times.

Among them cites: Implement family laws based on diversity and equal opportunities, ensure gender equity and high-quality and accessible services to support families and ensure access to women to an independent income.

In addition, the document addresses the need to address the differences in time spent on family care, mostly by women, and demand services and more budget, as well as expand parental leave or help for self-employed workers , encouraging people to take time off to take care of their family members.

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