Statement on Sexual Harassment and Violence Against Women

A Statement from the Office of Religions for Peace International on the religious duty of eliminating sexual harassment and violence against women.

(22 October 2019 | New York)

Sexual harassment and any form of violence against women is wrong. It occurs in public, in diverse institutions, and in the privacy of the home. It is unspeakably hurtful to women. It also damages families, communities and ultimately all of us.

Religions recognize the fundamental dignity of every woman and man. We know—each according to her or his respective religious tradition—that the true dignity of every woman is given by and rooted in the Sacred. This dignity is inviolable. It is not given by cultures, states, societies, communities or individuals. It cannot be taken away by them. But the recognition of this dignity must be “restored” whenever it is violated. It must be actively respected, honored and protected.

Eliminating sexual harassment and violence against women is a religious duty. Doing so will also nourish all for healthier, more fulfilling and dignified lives.

Religions for Peace is committed to:

  • Working to engage religious communities to prevent acts of harassment and violence against women,
  • Advocating for changes in public policies and attitudes that contribute to zero tolerance for all forms of harassment and violence against women,
  • Mobilizing the compassion of religious communities to help care for and support survivors of harassment and violence.

Religious believers need to be the first to hold their own communities and leaders accountable both to the law and to their traditions’ highest religious standards. Collectively, all religious communities need to work together to help build the culture of honesty and transparency essential for the protection of all human beings and for advancing the sanctity and promise of every person.

Download the Statement on Sexual Harassment and Violence Against Women


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