‘Stand Up, Speak out’ towards Building World that Refuses to Tolerate Violence against Women, Says Secretary-General in Message for International Day

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, observed on 25 November:

Violence against women is a horrific violation of human rights, a public health crisis and a major obstacle to sustainable development.

It is persistent, widespread — and worsening.  From sexual harassment and abuse to femicide, the violence takes many forms.  But all are rooted in structural injustice, cemented by millennia of patriarchy.

We still live in a male-dominated culture that leaves women vulnerable by denying them equality in dignity and rights.  We all pay the price: our societies are less peaceful, our economies less prosperous, our world less just.  But a different world is possible.

This year’s theme of the UNiTE campaign — “Invest to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls” — calls on all of us to take action.

Support legislation and comprehensive policies that strengthen the protection of women’s rights across the board.  Ramp up investments in prevention and support to women’s rights organizations.  Listen to survivors and end impunity for perpetrators everywhere.  Stand with women activists and promote women’s leadership at every stage of decision-making.

Together, let us stand up and speak out.  Let’s build a world that refuses to tolerate violence against women anywhere, in any form, once and for all.

For information media. Not an official record.