UN chief calls for end to violence against women

 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

United Nations,  UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for an end to violence against women and girls.

“I call on governments, the private sector, civil society and people everywhere to take a firm stand against sexual violence and misogyny,” he said in a video message for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Xinhua news agnecy reported.

“We must show greater solidarity with survivors, advocates and women’s rights defenders. And we must promote women’s rights and equal opportunities. Together, we can — and must — end rape and sexual assault of all kinds,” he said.

The UN is committed to ending all forms of violence against women and girls, he said.

These abuses are among the world’s most horrific, persistent and widespread human rights violations, affecting one in every three women in the world, said Guterres.

Sexual violence against women and girls is rooted in centuries of male domination. Gender inequalities that fuel rape culture are essentially a question of power imbalances. Stigma, misconceptions, underreporting and poor enforcement of the laws only perpetuate impunity. And rape is still being used as a horrendous weapon of war, he noted.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women falls on November 25. The 2019 theme is “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape.”