Casual indifference to sexual harassment is unacceptable, the head of the United Nations entity mandated to promote gender equality said, urging women and men to change their response to acts of sexual aggression. In an opinion piece, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, pointed to the “pain and anger” of more than a million people who posted #MeToo on social media.
“What we are seeing currently, as women build and reinforce each other's accounts, and as men join in to acknowledge their role, is a validation of the rightness of speaking out,” Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said. She added that “we are seeing also the strength in numbers that comes from accumulated individual experiences that are characteristically undeclared.”
We need to have all women empowered to speak, their rights and bodies respected, and behaviours established and entrenched as normal that let no one off the hook. No more impunity. We salute the thousands of women who have been fighting against all violations of women's and girls' rights and call for renewed investment in the fight to end all violence against women, she remarked.
The #MeToo hashtag started with Tarana Burke, a New York community organizer serving women of colour, and reached fame when actress Alyssa Milano picked up the message, with people around the world writing #MeToo if they also have been sexually victimised. The critical mass shows “how much goes wrong when people can act with impunity in a culture of silence” and calls on “good men” to speak out and not be quiet spectator
Compiled by Law Desk. (UN.ORG).