Worldwide rallies mark day for elimination of violence against women
The rallies were held in many countries, marking the beginning of 16 days of activism.
Thousands of people took to streets around the world on the eve of Sunday's International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, with more rallies expected throughout the day.
Observed annually on Nov. 25, this year also marks the beginning of 16 days of activism, concluding on International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, the United Nations said in a statement.
“Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today (and) remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it,” the statement said.
Rallies were held in many cities including Rabat, Morocco; Quito, Ecuador; Rome, Italy; Madrid, Spain; Guatemala City, Guatemala and Geneva, Switzerland.
Italian soccer matches between Inter Milan and Frosinone in Milan, and Juventus FC and SPAL in Turin, saw players take to the pitch with red marks on their faces in respect of the occasion.
One in three women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner, the UN said.
In a joint statement released on Friday, the heads of several UN agencies said the #MeToo campaign was “one of the most viral and powerful social movements of recent times” in an “extraordinary” year of bringing awareness of the extent and magnitude of the various forms of violence against women and girls.
But it also warned that ending gender violence is not a short-term endeavor.
“It requires coordinated and sustained efforts from all of us. Showing that these efforts yield results is the best tribute to survivors and the survivor advocates and women’s human rights defenders that we are celebrating today,” it said.