President Michael D Higgins.
Marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (Sunday, 25 November), President Michael D. Higgins today called for urgent action to end violence against women.
Speaking at Áras an Uachtaráin, President Higgins said: “During the recent election campaign, I spoke of new initiatives I intend to take, including ‘Participation and Transformation’, which aims at promoting a more inclusive society.
"It is my firm belief that if we wish to achieve the immense potential of Ireland and all our people, we need to address – and eliminate – those significant obstacles to participation that remain and are experienced by so many of our people. There are many such barriers.
"Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today.
"In 2015, at the request of the UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngucka, I agreed to become one of the Champion World Leaders of the “HeForShe” campaign.
"In that context, in March 2016 I held consultations with staff and volunteers of organisations with a significant male membership. I now repeat my invitation to men and people of all genders to stand in solidarity with women, and develop a strong coalition working towards the achievement of gender equality.
"In the coming months, I will invite back individuals and organisations, asking them to speak about their experiences in confronting obstacles to participation, and I will re-engage with those institutions and organisations that are in a position to influence men of all ages whose assistance, new thinking and action are all necessary if we are to join with the more than 50% of humanity who are being excluded from their full rights.
"At the end of this period of consultation, I intend to produce a progress report, which I will present to UN Secretary General António Guterres. It is high time that we end the scourge of gender based violence.”