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Royals voice determination to end violence against women

Sophie, The Countess of Wessex

Several royal women marked International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women this week, sharing personal messages and attending engagements related to empowering women.

The Countess of Wessex shared a personal tweet on the Royal Family’s Twitter account, writing, “Today I stand with survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, as we mark the International Day to End Violence against Women.  To the inspirational survivors I have met through my support of @end_svc [Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict] – we will continue to fight against the stigma and silence.”

Sophie has made empowering women and working to end violence against women in conflict zones, a central focus of her royal work, saying in a speech honouring women peacebuilders in 2019, “As someone who firmly believes in the equality of men and women, I feel drawn to your cause and to do what I can to help raise further awareness of your work. To help give voice to women and girls who are being denied their fundamental rights as humans and are being subjected to harm and violence as a result of conflict, to promote those who seek to play a part in finding peace, and to support others as they attempt to rebuild their lives.”

The Duchess of Cornwall similarly focuses on women’s empowerment through her royal work and has devoted considerable time in 2020 to highlight domestic violence issues. On International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Camilla released a video message for Safe Lives, a charity she works with that aims to end domestic violence.

“The 25th of November marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It is a day when we are reminded that, worldwide, 1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, more often than not by somebody very close to them.

“Today gives us all the opportunity to remember those who have suffered and those who have tragically died as a result of these heinous crimes. I very much hope that it will encourage all of us to help people we know who might be living in the dark world of abuse and coercion.

“This will be particularly important in the build-up to Christmas – a time when, very sadly, domestic abuse increases.

“But today is also a day that can give us hope. Today we can and we must eliminate violence against women. Each one of us has a part to play, to do everything in our power to raise awareness, to reach in to others, and to support, and be inspired by, those very brave survivors.

“Violence against women is everyone’s problem; and the solution must be too.”

Clarence House’s Twitter account also announced that it would be sharing 16 days worth of resources, “and insight from organisations and initiatives across the world which are working to end gender based violence.”

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa also recorded a message in support of the Day, launching Orange Week in her video, and calling for Luxembourgers and those around the world to unite and raise awareness to stop violence against women.

“As you know, the fight that I lead for women victims of sexual violence around the world only strengthens my commitment to women here in Luxembourg. I would like to sincerely thank the associations and volunteers who take care of women, children, and all victims of domestic violence.

“During the difficult months that we have known because of the global health crisis, you have mobilized and you have shown great solidarity. thank you for your courage in these times when anxiety and uncertainty weigh on us. We must more than ever continue to federate the initiatives which make it possible to improve the status of women in all fields.

“I am proud of the Luxembourgers and Luxembourgers of all our compatriots who mobilize so many on a daily basis, by their words and their actions in this fight.

“Know that I stand by your side because we are all concerned in the fight against this terrible scourge!”

Queen Letizia, who opened a Tourism Innovation Summit in Seville on November 25th, devoted a section of her speech there to the work done to eliminate violence against women.

“Before starting, I would also like to make a mention of the minute of silence that we have observed for the International Day Against Gender Violence, a way of symbolizing the commitment of a society that, from all spheres, expresses its overwhelming rejection of this violence and works to eliminate it,” Queen Letizia said.

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.