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#HearMeToo: A message from UN Women’s Executive Director
On this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November), we honour and amplify the voices of survivors and grassroots activists. Under the UN theme, “Orange the World: #HearMeToo,” UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka issues a call to listen to and believe survivors, to end the culture of silencing and to put survivors at the centre of our responses. Read the full message►
Emmanuella was seven years old when she was raped. At 17, Tabasum was kidnapped and forced to marry an older man, who went on to burn her. Helen was bullied at school because she liked girls and not boys. Elisa was dragged to the town square and beaten, because she dared to participate in politics. Nana escaped being raped by an acquaintance and went on to start conversations about consent well before #MeToo hit global headlines.
Building on the momentum of global movements and grassroots campaigns such as ‘#MeToo’, “#TimesUp”, “#BalanceTonPorc” “#NiUnaMenos”, #MetooIndia and “HollaBack!”, the UN theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (25 November – 10 December) under the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign is, Orange the World: #HearMeToo.
#HearMeToo brings to the forefront the voices of women and girls who have survived violence, who are defending women’s rights every day, who are taking action—many of them very far away from the limelight or media headlines. These are the faces we may not have seen on newspapers and stories we may not have heard on social media.
Their voices and stories must be heard.
One in three women experience violence in their lifetime, across all social status, class, race, country or age group. That’s one too many. For many of them, the #MeToo moment hasn’t come yet, because speaking out can have fatal consequences, and survival is a long and complicated journey.
Today we stand at a tipping point. These global social media conversations and survivor- activists’ movements have shown us that when our voices come together, it is possible to challenge the historical power imbalances and affect lasting change.
Fighting discrimination and violence against women and girls is at the core of UN Women’s mandate. And, we know that there are solutions that can unlock the transformational change we want to see, such as: a comprehensive approach that includes laws along with decisive implementation to protect women and girls from violence; prevention that starts at an early age and the provision of services accessible to all survivors.
For the 16 Days of Activism, this compilation features the stories of some of the brave women and men who are paving the way for a safer, more equal and better world for all. Join them as they say #HearMeToo.
My Story: End Violence against Women & Girls
Supporters, survivors, activists: When it comes to ending violence against women and girls, we all have a story to tell. And we want to know yours and share it with others. In up to eight words, create a short story about your experience of violence or support for survivors. Then, share your “story card” with the world. Create my story ►
Explore the facts: Violence against women
Violence against women Violence against women and girls manifests itself in many different forms. Whether at home, on the streets or during war, it is a human rights violation of pandemic proportions that takes place in public and private spaces. Explore the issue ►
Signs of relationship abuse
A sudden or gradual change in appearance or behaviour can be an indicator that abuse or neglect has occurred (or may still be happening). Learn more about the signs of relationship abuse. Learn more about how to recognize the signs ►
Video: Nepal’s Justice Reporters help survivors break their silence
From 1996-2006, the Government of Nepal engaged in armed conflict with a Maoist insurgency. Both parties to the conflict routinely tortured, raped, detained and killed women and girls. But the experiences of women have not been fully acknowledged as part of the history of Nepal's armed conflict.
The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, managed by UN Women, supported The Story Kitchen’s justice reporter training. The project trained women survivors to record their own testimonies and those of other survivors of gender-based violence. In 2017, UN Women continued partnering with The Story Kitchen, training 12 women survivors to create short films about their experiences during the conflict. In breaking their silence, women victims and survivors hope to create an enabling environment for truth, justice, dignity and reparations in Nepal.
Around the world
- Press release: Bringing 16 Days of Activism campaign to a close, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman, survivors and activists spotlight solutions to end violence against women (10 December)
- Remarks by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, at the Community Dialogue on Ending Child Marriages in Sindh, Pakistan (5 December)
- Coverage: UN Women Executive Director takes #HearMeToo to Pakistan (5 December)
- UN Women Executive Director to visit Pakistan during the 16 Days of Activism (4 December)
- Press release: UN Women announces Danai Gurira as Goodwill Ambassador (2 December)
- Coverage: UN Women Executive Director in South Africa for the 16 Days of Activism (29 November)
- Orange the world: #HearMeToo (26 November)
- Press Release: As global mobilizations soar, UN Women brings survivors of violence and advocates to centre stage on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls (19 November)
- Speech: Turning the struggle to end impunity into a global movement for accountability (19 November)
- Media advisory: “Orange the World: #HearMeToo”: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (14 November)
Package of essentials for addressing violence against women
The briefs included in this package aim to present in a friendly way the essential strategies for addressing violence against women in general, preventing violence, and providing services to survivors in particular. The last brief includes a compilation of resources developed by UN Women and partners to end violence against women and girls.
Raise your voice with #HearMeToo
Use your social media platforms to highlight the stories of survivors and activists who demand action to end violence against women. Use the hashtags #HearMeToo, #16days and #orangetheworld to add your voice to the community of people who are breaking the silence and advocate for change.
For far too long, impunity, silence & stigma have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions. Time for change is here & now. #16Days of Activism kick off on 25 Nov: https://t.co/kCHcjKhLe9 #HearMeToo #orangetheworld pic.twitter.com/BcUVDz5Klv— UN Women (@UN_Women) November 11, 2018
Time to support & empower survivors.— UN Women (@UN_Women) November 15, 2018
Time to spark a global conversation.
Time to #orangetheworld!#16days #HearMeToo pic.twitter.com/rI6Yqmqpkh
Help us to #orangetheworld in #16days by turning your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts orange with a variety of images, banners and promotional material. A social media package with sample messages in English, Spanish and French is available here.
Join the ‘Orange the World’ Event page on Facebook and post photos and actions happening in your country during the 16 Days of Activism.
Keep up with our Instagram Stories throughout the 16 Days and stay tuned for an Instagram challenge with customizable content to share on your own Stories and profile.
@un_women, @onumujeres, @onufemmes, @sayno_unite, @phumzileunwomen on Twitter
See our coverage of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence from previous years: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011