As Women’s History Month comes to a close, take one more action to acknowledge and support the women of the world: Sign the Every Woman Treaty, a global treaty that aims to eradicate violence against women.
The treaty, which was publicly released on March 5, requires nations to adopt evidence-based interventions to eliminate violence perpetrated against women.
“The Treaty will require nations to adopt reform laws, train and hold accountable health, justice, and security professionals such as police, judges and doctors… hold violence prevention campaigns and trainings, offer services to survivors and allocate funds for these interventions,” fourth-semester political science and human rights double major and volunteer for the treaty Emily Burnett said in an email.
According to Burnett, the treaty will be instrumental in decreasing and ultimately eradicating violence against women. As of right now, at least one in three women around the world will experience violence within her lifetime. On a more specific level, Burnett also noted that 19-27 percent of college women are sexually assaulted while in college.
The Every Woman Treaty is crucial to eliminating gender-based violence, because, while there are some global recommendations and regulations about it, there is no hard and fast code that states how to handle the issue.
“There is the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which is currently the strongest tool for addressing discrimination and inequality,” Burnett said. “However, this is only legally binding on discrimination and not violence against women.”
Now that the Every Woman Treaty has gone public, volunteers like Burnett are looking for people to sign the treaty and spread the word about it. (Burnett herself was inspired to volunteer for the treaty after attending an on-campus presentation by the treaty’s cofounders last semester).
“At this moment we are looking to gain signatures and awareness of the treaty,” Burnett said. “I posted on my social media account on International Women’s Day to raise some awareness for the treaty. We hope to continue to gain signatures through social media and treaty signing events.”
As of publication, 5,865 people have signed. You can sign by visiting everywoman.org, scrolling down and digitally signing the treaty. Burnett said that an app is being created to make signing the treaty easier. The app is still in development, but is expected to be released soon.
Burnett urges students to go check out the website and sign the treaty. It’s simple to sign, and on the website are pictures of the thousands of signers and their reasons for signing.
“I signed the Every Woman Treaty because we need action and accountability to end gender-based violence,” Jody Williams, the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize laureate who worked to ban and clear anti-personnel landmines, is pictured as saying on the website.
Looking through the signers and their reasons for signing, one notices that people all over the world just want women to feel safe.
“I signed the Every Woman Treaty because I want women to be happy,” Elsa, a woman from Guatemala, simply said.
“I signed the Every Woman Treaty because girls need a safe world,” Mike, a man from Seattle, is pictured as saying.
If you’re interested in signing the treaty, make sure to go to everywoman.org and write down your name. You can also check out the work that the treaty is doing on Facebook, Twitter (@WomanTreaty) and Instagram (@everywoman treaty).
Stephanie Santillo is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.