U.N. Focuses on Violence; Media Miss New Trends

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersThe United Nations Development Fund for Women has launched a worldwide campaign against gender violence, pulling in the power of celebrity spokesperson Nicole Kidman and a brand new anti-violence Web site. Worldwide, 1 in 3 women will experience violence in their lifetimes.The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign kicked off on Nov. 25, which is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It ends on Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.UNIFEM launched a “virtual book” project asking individuals and nations to pledge their support to ending violence and sign a petition.

Abortion Rates Drop; Sexual Violence Increases

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersThe most comprehensive study of international abortion rates to date linked the availability of reproductive health and family planning services to a drop in abortion between 1995 and 2003. Research conducted by the World Health Organization and the Guttmacher Institute also reveals that abortion rates in North America were stagnant during the study period, dropping from 22 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age to 21 per 1,000, coinciding with an intensified political effort to ban abortions in the United States.Abortion rates dropped where contraceptive use is up, illustrated by the sharp declines recorded in Eastern Europe during the study period, Guttmacher noted. Abortion rates there were cut in half following the fall of the Iron Curtain. Prior to that, abortion was the primary method of birth control and others were largely unavailable to women.”It’s clear to me then that if anti-choice forces really wanted fewer abortions in the U.S., they should be dedicated to keeping it legal,” wrote RH Reality Check columnist Rachel Larris Oct. 12.