Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has joined the recent wave of people standing up to stop violence against women — not by saying #metoo, but by saying "men, too."

Trudeau released a statement on Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, calling violence against women a violation of human rights, imploring men to do more.

"Men must hold themselves and each other accountable and be part of the solution. From speaking up about the rights of women and girls, to promoting women’s leadership in every aspect of our society, to standing against violence whenever it occurs, men have a vital role to play in eliminating gender-based violence," he said in a statement.

Trudeau added that gender-based violence affects different communities in different ways, referencing vulnerable groups like trans women, Indigenous women, women of colour, low-income women, refugees, and displaced women.

Take Action: Test Your Knowledge: Gender-Based Violence

"To change this reality, we must actively seek out and listen to the voices and needs of women, especially those cast furthest to the margins," he said.

On Nov. 25, Global Citizen kicked off #16Days of action to end gender-based violence. Over #16Days, Global Citizens will rise together with leaders, activists, and communities around the world to take action in the fight against gender-based violence. You can take action here.

Trudeau called on all Canadians to participate.

"Today and throughout the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, I encourage all Canadians to join the #MYActionsMatter campaign and find your way to combat violence against women," he said. "We are interdependent and interconnected, and we are stronger when everyone’s rights are protected. Working together – as communities, businesses, governments, and individuals – I know we can build a world free from violence for women and girls everywhere."

Read More: The UN Weighs in on the ‘Me Too’ Discussion

Trudeau’s government is known for its feminist views, as Trudeau appointed a gender-balanced cabinet when he took office in 2015, and the government implemented the Feminist International Assistance Policy earlier this year.

Still, work remains in the fight for gender equality as Trudeau’s statement comes at a time when sexual harassment allegations have come to light across a variety of industries worldwide.

Minister of Status of Women Maryam Monsef said that this year’s #MYActionsMatters is meant to show how everyone has a role in standing up against violence against women.

"Ending gender-based violence starts with taking action to question, call out, and speak up against harmful behaviour," she said. "Bringing awareness to this form of violence at a young age helps youth realize the role they can play in ending it."

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Noted in the 16 days is Dec. 6, Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This day marks the anniversary of the murder of 14 women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal who were killed because they were women in 1989.

"We are all harmed when people in our communities and society experience violence – and all of us share a responsibility to make sure women and girls have the respect, protection, and freedom that is their right," Trudeau said.


Demand Equity

Trudeau: Men Must Be Accountable to End Violence Against Women

By Jackie Marchildon