The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The aim is to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence and to highlight how this issue is still often hidden. This year millions of women have rallied behind the hashtag #MeToo exposing the magnitude of sexual harassment and other forms of violence that women from all over the world suffer, as well as how the true nature of the issue is often hidden. Breaking the silence is the first step to transforming the culture of gender-based violence.
In a message for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says, “Violence against women and girls is not inevitable. There are many ways to prevent violence in the first place and to stop cycles of violence repeating."
Ending violence against women and girls is possible. Laws and policies are powerful tools that should be used to punish perpetrators, provide justice and services to all women. There are many ways that we can resist and prevent violent norms, attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate violence against women, and everyone has a role in it.