Secretary-General's Video Message for the International Day to End Violence Against Women

25 Nov 2013

Violence against women and girls directly affects individuals. It also harms our common humanity. That is why I launched my UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign in 2008. Partners around the world joined this drive to protect the basic human rights of women and girls to live free from violence.

I pay tribute to all of those many heroes who champion this cause – the men and women, in all parts of the world, who say no to violence and yes to human rights.

One such hero is Dr. Denis Mukwege, who founded the Panzi hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Women who go there have suffered terrible atrocities. Dr. Mukwege has said, “Many times we are reduced to tears. But we get to work. We fix what we can, and that is a lot.” He is inspired by the courage of his patients.

We must confront and fix this problem everywhere.

From November 25th until December 10th – Human Rights Day – we make a special effort to organize 16 days of activism to combat violence against women.

This year, we are raising awareness by wearing the colour orange to show our commitment to this cause.This International Day to End Violence against Women is a chance to recommit to preventing and halting all forms of violence against women and girls. When we secure their rights, we advance our common humanity.