NEW YORK (Rahnuma): The UN Secretary General released a statement on Sunday on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Antonio Guterres’ statement called violence against women and girls a “global pandemic.” It read: “It is a moral affront to all women and girls, a mark of shame on all our societies and a major obstacle to inclusive, equitable and sustainable development. At its core, violence against women and girls is the manifestation of a profound lack of respect – a failure by men to recognize the inherent equality and dignity of women. It is an issue of fundamental human rights.
Guterres’ message also said that violence could take many forms — from domestic attacks to trafficking, from sexual violence in conflict to child marriage, genital mutilation and femicide.
He said: “It harms the individual and has far-reaching consequences for families and society. This is also a deeply political issue. Violence against women is tied to broader issues of power and control in our societies. We live in a male-dominated society. Women are made vulnerable to violence through the multiple ways in which we keep them unequal.
“In the past year we have seen growing attention to one manifestation of this violence. Sexual harassment is experienced by most women at some point in their lives. Increasing public disclosure by women from all regions and all walks of life is bringing the magnitude of the problem to light and demonstrating the galvanizing power of women’s movements to drive the action and awareness needed to eliminate harassment and violence everywhere.”
This year, the UN’s UNiTE campaign to end violence against women and girls has highlighted the organization’s support for survivors and advocates under the theme “Orange the World: #HearMeToo.”