UN Women Statement
A life without the threat of violence for everyone: leave no one behind
25 November 2017
Message by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 25 November 2017
The initial response to the outpouring of ‘#MeToo’ around the world has been of outrage at the scale of sexual abuse and violence revealed. The millions of people joining the hashtag tide showed us how little they were heard before. They poured through the floodgate, opening up conversations, naming names and bolstering the frailty of individual statements with the robustness of a movement.
This virtual class action has brought strength to those whose stories would otherwise have not been told. Sexual violence in private almost always ends up as one person’s word against another, if that word is ever spoken. Even sexual violence in public has been impossible to call out when society does not view rape as a male crime but as a woman’s failing, and views that woman as dispensable.