Speech by Michelle Bachelet at Tokyo Tower lighting ceremony

Date : 12 November 2012

Speech by UN Women Executive Director, Michelle Bachelet at Tokyo Tower lighting. Tokyo, Japan, 12 November 2012.

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Tonight, there is a beacon in the Tokyo sky. Standing here above this great city, we know how many eyes can see the purple lights of Tokyo Tower. It is a call to action to end violence against women here in Japan and around the world. And it is a symbol of what great work you are all doing during the weeks to Eliminate Violence against Women in Japan.

Good evening, Minister Nakatsuka. I thank the Gender Equality Bureau of the Cabinet Office and its Director General, Ms. Tomoko Samura, for organizing this wonderful event. I warmly welcome Ms. Kiyoko Hijikata of Shelternet and Ms. Hitomi Obara, who very recently was a shining light herself for Japan at the London Olympics.

UN Women Japan Office is proud to take part in this yearly event to shine a light on violence against women. Japan has taken important action on this issue, from advancing legislation and a national policy on gender equality to improving services and the safety of women and girls in public spaces.

Japan led the way this year at the UN Commission on the Status of Women with the resolution “Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in Natural Disasters. I am sure Japan will lead again at next year's Commission on the Status of Women to prevent and end violence against women.

When the citizens of Tokyo look up at this tower glowing purple tonight, its image will remain in their hearts and minds. I thank you all for your hard work- in the name of all girls and women in the world who have suffered violence, and for the world we want to create where all human beings can live free of fear and want. UN Women stands beside you. Keep the light shining.