It's that time of the year again—Valentine's Day. Hearts, gifts, cupid and lists of what to give your Valentine are hot topics, but there's one more thing we need to add — the fact that love doesn't hurt.
In the face of the recent brutal gang rape and murder of young South African Anene Booysen, UN Women have sent out a call to take a stand against violence against women.
It is estimated that as many as seven out of 10 women in the world experience violence at some point in their lifetime.
Violence against women is a gross human rights violation that destroys families and communities and obstructs development.
In some countries, between 40 and 70 per cent of female murder victims are killed by intimate partners.
It has enormous direct and indirect costs for survivors, employers and the public sector in terms of health, police, legal and related expenditures as well as lost wages and productivity.
But it is a problem that can be addressed through prevention, protection and access to services.
Strong legal reform and implementation, and a change in mindsets and attitudes are needed. YOU can make that happen.
While many of us will know all this, perhaps not all are sure of how we can make a difference.
But, we can by getting involved in our respective communities and promoting respectful and violence-free relationships.
Take action by visiting UN Women's online platform www.saynotoviolence.org, where you'll find a ways to get involved in the cause at large.
This Valentine's Day, iafrica.com wants to confirm this important message from UN Women - that love doesn't hurt. Instead, love is built through respect and equality.
Relationships are based on the foundation of fairness and must be free from physical, sexual and emotional violence. They are based on respect for one another and by working to resolve conflicts and disagreements peacefully.
Every woman and every girl should be able to live a safe life free of violence. Violence against women should not be accepted, tolerated or justified under any circumstances.
As the UN meets in March to address the pandemic of violence against women and girls, we urge you to be part of the community mobilization and include information on the importance of promoting, fostering and maintaining respectful and violence-free relationships.
For more information, click here.