Three years after the start of the #MeToo movement, Iceland recently hosted the first major international conference on the impact of gender-based violence, harassment and discrimination with the objective of “relegating sexual harassment to history”. Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary General, presented the IPU’s landmark work on sexism and violence against women in parliaments.
Organized by Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, representing the Icelandic Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in collaboration with RIKK, the Institute for Gender, Equality and Difference at the University of Iceland, the #MeToo Moving Forward conference took place in Reykjavík from 17 to 19 September 2019.
As one of the few male speakers at the conference, International Gender Champion, Martin Chungong argued for the importance of engaging men in preventing violence against women in politics. Changing mentalities and cultures will only work if men and boys are also successfully mobilized in a movement of change.
He called on the silent majority of non-violent men to speak out now and assume their responsibilities alongside women. Men in parliament also have a duty to actively join in the #MeToo debate and take action. Parliaments and political parties have a crucial part to play in promoting a culture of zero tolerance to gender-based violence and discrimination including by instituting anti-harassment policies.
Read more about the IPU’s work on gender equality.