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Statement on the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based
Violence by UN Human Rights Chief, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein
Gender bias is not only manifested in violence; it suffuses power
dynamics from the kindergarten to the boardroom to the home, marking
women as somehow lesser beings. But violence is the most brutal
expression of gender inequality, the bluntest and most evident violation
of women's fundamental human rights.
In too many places in the world, it is dangerous to be a woman or
a girl. It is especially dangerous to defy the social norms that dictate
women's roles, for example by publicly advocating for human rights and
exposing rights violations. Perceived as overthrowing the basic norms of
society, women are singled out for specific and severe forms of
humiliation and ill-treatment.
These 16 days of activism are dedicated to raising awareness of
and fighting the dishonourable, shameful scourge of violence against
women. It is crucial for each of us to do our part, in our workplaces,
homes, schools and communities, to ensure that girls and women are
not subject to violence in any of its forms.
Together we can ensure that perpetrators of gender-based
violence do not get away with their terrible crimes. Together we can
eradicate violence against women.