New York

18 July 2013

Secretary-General's message to launch of campaign entitled "Promotion of Equality and Eradication of Violence against Women" [delivered by Ms. Moni Pizani, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, UN Women]

I am pleased to send greetings to the launch of the National Campaign for the Promotion of Equality and Eradication of Violence against Women.  Gender equality and women’s empowerment are among my top priorities.  Justice, peace and sustainable development demand the full and equal participation of women and girls.  And ensuring the full enjoyment of fundamental rights means guaranteeing that women and girls are safe in the streets and in their homes, in schools and places of work.

My “UNiTE to End Violence against Women” campaign is working with governments, the United Nations system, civil society and the private sector, the media, and women and men around the world.  At its centre is a message of prevention.  The best way to end violence against women is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

This year at the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women governments agreed to take strong action to end violence against women by working to change attitudes and behaviour, protect women’s rights, and secure equal opportunities and participation for women.

I therefore commend the First Lady and Minister of Social Inclusion,
Mrs. Vanda Pignato, and the Government of El Salvador for taking such decisive action to galvanize public support for gender equality.  The National Campaign will be an important complement to other initiatives to empower women and girls, such as the ‘Ciudad Mujer’ multi-service centres for women and girls, which have attracted worldwide attention for their comprehensive approach to gender-based violence

No country in the world has fully achieved gender equality and no country is free of violence against women and girls.  It will take the leadership of governments, communities, and individuals in all countries to join forces, break the silence, and stand up for the fundamental rights of half of our human family.  With this campaign, you are acting on behalf not just of the women and girls of El Salvador, but people across the globe.  I wish you a joyous launch and a successful campaign.