Statement by Michelle Bachelet, Under Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women, on death of Delhi student.
2012 unfortunately showed too many times over that violence against women remains pervasive worldwide.
Today, UN Women expresses our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the young Indian student so brutally raped.
This horrific crime committed against a young woman who simply aspired to building a life in the service of others, is a call to action for all of us. Her death is a call to do what is necessary to eradicate senseless violence against women just for being women.
We have to work much harder to change those deeply ingrained biases that begin at birth—or even before. We know that the persistent health, education and economic participation gaps for women are detrimental to the growth and wellbeing of societies and countries.
It is the duty of law enforcement and political leaders to promote gender equality and challenge a biased culture.
We know that with women’s growing political and economic roles, women will not stay silent about violence. Women expect authorities to take responsibility for keeping the streets, public spaces and public transport safe. They expect equal rights. And that is something that benefits us all—men and women, girls and boys in society.
Our action is what will truly honor a senseless death. We need to show the leadership and the determination to give women the respect, dignity, choices and freedom every human being should enjoy. Our shame would be not to wake up and act—millions of nameless women and girls count on us to show that courage and leadership. Let us COMMIT.