The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has announced that it will give $1 million in grants this year for programmes to end violence against women in 21 countries.
In a statement issued in New York, UNIFEM said the money will be allocated through its Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women.
Some of the work to be undertaken with Trust Fund support include revising Thailand's penal code with relation to marital rape, forms of sexual violence that are not considered sexual intercourse, and child pornography; producing a "soap opera" in Namibia to raise awareness about the impact on families of violence against women; stemming the trafficking of women and girls in Colombia; and establishing a network of community councils to address domestic violence in Kyrgyzstan.
According to UNIFEM's Executive Director, Noeleen Heyzer, the fund received nearly 325 proposals with requests of $17 million during this grant-making cycle.
"There is an urgent need to increase global funding for programmes to end violence against women," she said. "At least one in three women worldwide is beaten, coerced into sex or abused in her lifetime. This is unacceptable."
Grants range from $25,000 to $120,000 and will be used to support programmes that address issues such as domestic violence, trafficking in women and girls, and rape.
Established in 1996, UNIFEM's Trust Fund is the only UN global grant-making mechanism that supports innovative community efforts to end violence against women worldwide. Over the last five years, it has awarded over $5 million to projects in 73 countries.