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It’s On All Of Us to Speak Out Against Sexual Violence & Abuse

Equality Now stands in support of the thousands of women around the world who are speaking out about their sexual abuse and sexual harassment.  

The term “sexual harassment” was first used in 1975.  Since then many laws have been enacted– the World Policy Analysis Center’s new report shows that 122 countries have laws against sexual harassment in the workplace, while 68 have none.

Even where laws do exist, offensive and unwanted behavior against women continues, very often unchallenged. It’s on all of us to end our cultural acceptance that sexual harassment is normal. 

Sexual harassment proliferates because of its power relationship; women are often required to exchange their silence in order to move on with their lives. Disbelief, blame and retaliation are common responses to a victim’s claim.  

Recent events around the globe show that we are at a watershed moment.  Women, in large numbers, are voicing details of what they have endured in the workplace, on public transport, in legislatures, in sports, in schools – and by doing so, they are changing perceptions, policies and culture.  

Sexual harassment robs women of their dignity, their worth and their potential.  We all can end it by refusing to be complicit, speaking out when we see violations, and by calling on our governments and the private sector to hold violators to account. 

In solidarity, 

Yasmeen Hassan
Global Executive Director
Equality Now