In our world we are witnessing secular injustices. Discrimination, racism, exploitation, impunity, despotism are words that, unfortunately, we are forced to use constantly.
But there is one among all these scourges as old as the world itself, a crime only recognized as such a few decades ago but which has marked the course of our entire history with injustice, abuse and pain.
I am referring to violence against women, the most atrocious face of inequality, the most painful of the many and very serious consequences that the subordination of women has caused for centuries.
Today, 25 November, International Day for the abolishment of Violence against Women, is a day to denounce and to demand. A day to raise our voices all over the world in defence of all women who, just because they are women, have suffered in their bodies and souls from mistreatment, abuse and humiliation, and to prevent our girls from continuing to suffer in a cycle that seems to have no end.
And we have to keep it in mind. Today, we talk so much about economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, energy or development, but we must be aware that violence against women is the greatest threat to social and democratic sustainability in our time.
Because there is no society that can tolerate that a third of its women are being victims of this violence without falling into a serious pathology.
A pathology that in moments of crisis like the one we are living today due to the Covid-19 pandemic, puts women already at risk in a situation of extreme vulnerability and defenselessness.
For all these reasons, today, on this international day, not only women but all of us who believe in the immense value of equality, whatever our gender, have to tell our governments, institutions and international agencies that it is necessary to strengthen action against this crime, that the shadowy pandemic that violence against women constitutes has only one vaccine with two doses: decisive action by States and commitment by society.
We must strive to inoculate both.
María Teresa Fernández de la Vega
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