With mass demonstrations and other public actions, women and their male allies around the world on Monday marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and kicked off a two-week campaign demanding gender equality across the world.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for a show of solidarity with survivors and women’s rights defenders against some of “the world’s most horrific human rights violations,” which affect one in three women around the world.
“Sexual violence against women and girls is rooted in centuries of male domination,” Guterres said. “Let us not forget that the gender inequalities that fuel rape culture are essentially a question of power imbalances… I call on governments, the private sector, civil society, and people everywhere to take a firm stand against sexual violence and misogyny.”
Monday’s demonstrations and rallies began more than two weeks of public actions to spread awareness and express support for survivors of gender-based violence, culminating Dec. 10 with International Human Rights Day.
Landmarks and public buildings around the world Monday night were lit up and decked with orange decorations as part of the U.N.’s “Orange the World” campaign.
As part of the global effort, the International Labor Organization (ILO) called for ratification of its new Convention, adopted in June, to recognize the right of all people to be free from harassment and violence in their workplaces.
“This commitment now needs to be turned into concrete, practical action,” the ILO wrote. “Violence and harassment in the world of work has enormous human, social and economic costs. Violence and harassment constitutes one of the greatest threats to decent work. No more excuses. Let’s work together and make the promise of Convention No. 190 a reality for all.”
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