800px Circumcision Female Genital Multilation FGM October 2010

Today we express our solidarity with all the women and girls around the world who have been subjected to violence. Staggeringly high levels of domestic and sexual violence persist around the world. We commend the work of the various local, national and international organisations responding to this situation. We salute the courage and fortitude of the dedicated activists and survivors of violence who often make great sacrifices to insist that gender violence – in all its insidious manifestations – be utterly eliminated not only for the well being of those most affected, but for the security and peace of mind of those who are threatened or vulnerable.

We also reflect on the many brave women whose courageous political and environmental protests are too often met with cowardly violence or the threat of violence. Today, as the results of the election in Honduras are disputed, Berta Caceres and her colleagues will continue to fight for fair treatment for their community, despite the many threats of violence they have received and the ongoing political persecution they face.

Activists like Berta Caceres face a range of challenges, including systemic injustice and discrimination. Patriarchy perpetuates and safe-guards systemic and structural injustices, hindering the work of activists both female and male. We applaud and support the precious work done by Friends of the Earth groups and other civil society groups to dismantle, subvert and replace patriarchal structures.

Image: Rufai Ajala