UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for an end to violence against women and girls.

Guterres further said in a video message for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, “I call on governments, the private sector, civil society and people everywhere to take a firm stand against sexual violence and misogyny”.

“We must show greater solidarity with survivors, advocates and women’s rights defenders. And we must promote women’s rights and equal opportunities. Together, we can — and must — end rape and sexual assault of all kinds,” he added.

Sexual violence against women and girls is rooted in centuries of male domination. Gender inequalities that fuel rape culture are essentially a question of power imbalances. Stigma, misconceptions, underreporting and poor enforcement of the laws only perpetuate impunity. And rape is still being used as a horrendous weapon of war, he noted.

Earlier on May 27, 2008, Guterres visited the Rohingya camp as the chief of the UN refugee agency.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women falls on November 25. The 2019 theme is “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape.”

Guterres had asked member states earlier this year to up contributions to the world body to head off cash flow problems, but they refused, a UN official said on condition of anonymity.