High Commissioner for Human Rights' Message on occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, I support the millions of women around the world who have dared to speak out against violence and harassment.

I applaud all the movements that forcefully denounce gender-based violence:

-         Me Too: I encourage women everywhere to keep telling their stories of violence and to demand accountability and reparation.

-         Ni una menos: We will not tolerate any more women being abused, assaulted or killed

-         Nous Toutes: All of us, women and men, must come together to end violence against women

…and countless more movements yearning for a world of dignity and equality for all.

Making our voices heard and our experiences known is the first step to create positive social change. We must continue to make visible the insidious nature of gender-based violence.

We must engage in conversations with our friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, to win their hearts and minds in favour of equality and human rights.

Together, we must change the tide: from acceptance to outrage, from victim shaming to compassion, from blaming survivors to celebrating their courage and resilience, from resignation to prevention, from impunity to accountability.

I call on everyone to speak out against the discriminatory social norms that legitimize and perpetuate gender-based violence.

I call on everyone to challenge harmful beliefs about sexuality, consent, and power.

Let us shape a new ethics of living together, based gender equality in all facets of life – in the street, in school, at work, at home.

“All human beings are born free and equal, in dignity and rights”. On this 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, let us make its founding principle a reality for all women and girls, everywhere. Stand up against gender-based violence. Stand Up for Human Rights.