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UN: Violence against women most prevalent in Latin America, Caribbean

Saturday, November 25, 2017

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PANAMA CITY, Panama (CMC) – A New United Nations report says Latin America and the Caribbean make up the most violent region in the world for women.

In the report released here, the UN Women and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) found assaults on women persisted in the region, despite severe laws aimed at curbing the phenomenon.

The rate of sexual violence against women outside of relationships is the highest in the world in the region, and the second-highest for those who are couples, the report noted, adding that three of the 10 countries with the highest rates of rape of women and girls were in the Caribbean.

The report stated that femicide, the killing of women, occurred on a “devastating scale” in Central America and that two out three women murdered died because of their gender.

The report noted, too, that while 24 of the 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have laws against domestic violence, only nine have passed legislation that tackles a range of forms of other violence against women in public or private.

According to the report, 16 of regional countries have femicide on the books, with only a few punishing newer types of crimes, such as cybercrime, political violence or acid attacks.

Despite those advances, though, the “plague” of violence continues to be a threat to human rights, public health and public safety, the report said.

The UN agencies recommend strengthening institutions and policies in the region, and allocating resources to empower women.

The report also recommended that “patriarchal” cultural norms that maintain gender inequality be addressed.

The report added that one-third of women worldwide have been a victims of violence in their relationships or of sexual violence by people outside their relationships.

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