“Governor General Unites with FIFA and UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand for the Women’s World Cup Semi Final in Support of Ending Violence Against Women.”

In an unprecedented show of solidarity, FIFA, in collaboration with UN Women, is set to deliver a powerful message during the upcoming Semi Final 1 match between Spain and Sweden at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The match, scheduled to kick off tonight at Eden Park Tāmaki Makaurau, carries an important theme: “Unite for Ending Violence Against Women.” This message aims to spotlight the vital principles of safety, inclusivity, and respect for women and girls, both on and off the football pitch.

Global statistics paint a sobering picture — an estimated 736 million women, approximately one in three, have encountered physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both, at least once in their lifetime. Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) transcends borders, affecting individuals irrespective of age, race, religion, culture, geography, or economic status. This deeply entrenched violation of human rights curtails women and girls’ freedoms, denying them the same opportunities and rights enjoyed by men and boys. It restricts their participation in education, formal or informal employment, public life, and curbs access to essential services, cultural activities, sports, and recreational pursuits. The consequences also extend to negatively impacting their overall health and well-being.

At this pivotal match, the presence of Her Excellency, The Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro, GNZM, QSO Governor-General of New Zealand and UN Women Aotearoa NZ Vice-Regal Patron, emphasises the commitment towards championing the “Unite for Ending Violence Against Women” message.

“Her Excellency’s support underscores the significance of uniting against gender-based violence and fostering a world where all women and girls can live their lives free from the threat of violence, unlocking their full potential.” said Tara Singh, President of UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand.

FIFA and UN Women invite all attendees, both at the stadium and watching across the world, to unite in solidarity for this crucial cause. Let us stand together to raise awareness about the importance of ending violence against women and girls, and to foster an environment of equality, respect, and safety.

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