As the world observes "International Elimination of Violence Against Women Day" on Wednesday, 25 November, it does so on a sobering note. According to the UN, one in three women are abused, either physically or sexually. The reasons for gender-based violence are many, and a complete systematic change in society seems like a dream that's far from realisation.
For women who feel threatened, exposed and vulnerable to harassment in its many forms, the world body has made "prevention" the theme for 2015. From school interventions for staff and students to gender equality training, the UN plans to put forward its framework for preventing violence against women. As former US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton once said women's rights are human rights. But it is not just the world body; prominent actors in the society have also spoken out against gender-based violence.
Here are some of their powerful, inspiring quotes:
"It's so easy to forget the many women who live their lives in fear because of domestic violence. Men have an important role to play in sending out the message that real men do not hurt or abuse their partners."
"Hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been beaten, tortured and raped — atrocities beyond anything that I have ever heard of or could imagine... For a problem so big and so complicated, where do you begin? What I have found and what I believe is that you begin somewhere, anywhere, but you must begin. You must act. As you read this, consider your humanity. Consider for one moment if you or your sister, your mother or your daughter lived in such a dire situation — then act."
"No woman has to be a victim of physical abuse. Women have to feel like they are not alone."
"Turn your wounds into wisdom."
"Be true to who you are. Be courage, be selfless. Be love. Courage comes from knowing your truth and standing up for it."
"Real men treat women with dignity and give them the respect they deserve."