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Eliminating Violence Against Women Must Be Included As Development Goal, Leaders Say

“Violence against women and girls is so pervasive that the next set of United Nations development objectives must include it as a priority when the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] expire in 2015, panelists at a U.N. ministerial meeting on gender violence and the post-2015 agenda said on Wednesday,” Thomson Reuters Foundation reports, noting Finland, Liberia and U.N. Women co-hosted the event. “According to a June 2013 report by the [WHO], the first systematic study of global data on the prevalence of violence against women (VAW), no part of the world is free from gender-based violence,” the news service writes. “Ending the global pandemic of VAW must be a priority as the U.N. works on the post-2015 development agenda, said [U.N. Women Executive Director Phumzile] Mlambo-Ngucka,” Reuters states. Mlambo-Ngucka said, “Indeed, it is the missing MDG and we must correct this glaring omission,” the news service notes, adding, “Many ministers at the meeting agreed with Mlambo-Ngucka that stopping violence against women must be spelt out in the next set of objectives.” Finnish Foreign Affairs Minister Erkki Tuomioja said, “What is needed now is more attention to freedom from violence for women and girls, from now until after 2015,” according to Reuters (Anderson, 9/26).