I have eaten my birthweight in pumpkin products and spent an absurd amount of time sleeping these last few days; two lovely things I wish I had occasion to do more often. I hope you’re all feeling as rested and pleasantly roly-poly.
During one of my brief interludes of conciousness, I came across a story reported by the BBC about at new UN initiative, Network of Men Leaders, to combat violence against women. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, delivered a speech on the topic last Tuesday, November 24th, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
An excerpt of the full statement:
Some 70 percent of women experience in their lifetime some form of physical or sexual violence from men — the majority from husbands, intimate partners or someone they know.
This is unacceptable.
All of us here know that unless we change our attitudes and behaviour, violence against women will continue.
We must act together. We must build on the efforts of so many women and women’s organizations who have worked tirelessly to address this epidemic. We must continue to widen the circle of engagement.
After all, just as women’s rights are human rights – women’s issues are people’s issues.
That is why today I am launching a dedicated Network of Men Leaders. This Network will consist of men – young and old – who have pledged to work to end violence against women and girls. These men will add their voices to the growing global chorus for action. Each has pledged to take concrete steps in his community of influence and create partnerships with women to end this violence.
As I launch this Network, I call on men and boys everywhere to join us. Break the silence. When you witness violence against women and girls, do not sit back. Act. Advocate. Unite to change the practices and attitudes that incite, perpetrate and condone this violence.
Violence against women and girls will not be eradicated until all of us – men and boys – refuse to tolerate it.
Together let us make that pledge.
There are many positive examples of men taking action. Judges whose decisions paved the way to fight abuse in the workplace. Organizations that have begun networks of men who counsel male perpetrators of violence. National leaders who have publicly committed to leading the movement of men to break their silence. The White Ribbon Campaign whose members pledge never to commit or condone violence.
The list is growing, but it is not long enough. Everyone can do something.
For my part, I commit to doing everything in my power to ensure the success of this fight. Within and outside the United Nations, I will continue to use my Campaign to highlight the issues. Today, I ask you to join us in your own unique way.
I thank all of you for taking part. Through this Network, let us, once and for all, end violence against women and girls.
I’m glad to hear that a global coalition of leaders are taking what appears to be a strongly worded stance against VAW, even as I despair that it might (and I stress might) only now be taken seriously because some MEN LEADERS are finally pointing it out–after all, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with WOMEN LEADERS from all over the world, have been raising this issue for years. Should I be hopeful, thankful for these crumbs of promise, or is this nothing more than lip service?
Also, why didn’t I see this “important” international declaration from any mainstream news sources? Wait, lemme guess…