On International Day for the elimination of violence against women, IOGT International is stepping up to orange the world through alcohol policy…

IOGT International Press Release: Orange The World Through Alcohol Policy

This year, the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign runs under the theme ”Orange the world: end violence against women and girls.” Awareness of alcohol harm and alcohol policy measures can play a powerful role in helping to end gender-based violence.

The period from November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, Human Rights Day, is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls on communities, activists and civil society around the world to come together.

IOGT International and its Member Organizations are answering Ban Ki-moon’s call and step to help orange communities worldwide.

Our global movement of heart-driven community leaders and activists is proud to join the United Nations in this crucial day and age to help inspire freedom for women and girls,” says Kristina Sperkova, International President of IOGT International.

Together we are mobilizing in communities around the world to help orange the world through raising awareness of alcohol harm and advocating for alcohol policy implementation,” explains Kristina Sperkova.

IOGT International is the premier global network for community-based interventions and evidence-based policy measures to prevent alcohol harm and has 125 Member Organizations from 54 countries.

Evidence shows that alcohol is a major risk factor for violence against women.

The Sustainable Development Goals address alcohol in Goal 3, target 3.5. The Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health 2016-2030 addresses alcohol policy, namely in recommending alcohol taxation to mobilize sufficient and sustainable resources.

And World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have launched a joined project to integrate policy responses to infectious diseases, gender-based violence and the harmful use of alcohol.

Globally, one out of three women will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime, with rates of abuse reaching 70% in some countries.

Seen with the eyes of women and girls, the world we live in has an alcohol problem,” says Kristina Sperkova.

Up to 80% of violence against women and girls can be alcohol related.

  • In the United Kingdom, 88% of cases of domestic violence involving dual perpetration are alcohol related.
  • In Argentina, 68% of cases of domestic violence are alcohol related.
  • Focus group discussions in rural Rwanda regularly rank alcohol as number one risk factor fueling domestic violence.
  • About 65% of women experiencing intimate partner violence in countries like South Africa, India, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe report alcohol use by the perpetrator.
  • In Brazil, 70% of cases of intimate partner violence (IPV) are alcohol related.
  • The economic costs of intimate partner violence in the United States amount $12.6 billion yearly, where perpetrators where under the influence of alcohol in 55% of IPV cases.

Alcohol fueled violence and harassment make public space unsafe for women and girls.

Alcohol policy measures are not a silver bullet but they are important tools in a comprehensive approach to end the epidemic of violence against women,” says Kristina Sperkova.

In the coming 16 days, as part of this global campaign, our members will move heaven and earth to get the message across to local and national leaders: we must take urgent action to end violence against women and alcohol policy measures are a powerful tool to help inspire freedom for women and girls.”

For further reading:

Sustainable Development Goal 3: ”Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”

Target 3.5: “Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol”

WHO and UNDP joint project ”Strengthening and integrating national policies and programmes addressing gender-based violence, harmful use of alcohol and infectious diseases”

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