2017 – #metoo campaign
#MeToo was catapulted to the frontline in the battle against impunity for sexual harassment in 2017 after revelations about the abuse of women in the film industry by producer Harvey Weinstein. It helped millions break their silence about sexual harassment and assault, and was the result of years of campaigning by womens’ organizations.
Social activist Tarana Burke launched the original “Me, Too” campaign in 2007 to support survivors of sexual violence who were marginalised, poor, underrepresented and without a network or community to protect them. This overwhelmingly meant it focused on women and girls of colour who lacked support and resources.
And when actor and activist Alyssa Milano tweeted #MeToo in October 2017, it helped launch a new solidarity among millions of women worldwide, who shared devastating accounts of sexual violence and harassment. Women of all races, income levels and occupations broke their silence as the #MeToo hashtag took off in multiple languages and all corners of the globe. According to Facebook, within 24 hours of Alyssa’s tweet, 4.7 million people around the world engaged in the #metoo conversation, with over 12 million posts, comments and reactions.
Within days, millions of women – and some men – used Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to disclose the harassment and abuse they had faced. The story moved beyond any one man and became a conversation about men’s treatment of women and the imbalance of power in public life. “It is about so much more than Harvey Weinstein,” said Caroline Criado-Perez, co-founder of The Women’s Room and feminist campaigner who forced the Bank of England to have female representation on banknotes. “That’s what #MeToo represents, it’s happened to pretty much every woman you know.”
Following the global reaction to #MeToo, Alyssa and Tarana joined forces with Unicef USA to launch #HerToo – a campaign that harnesses the solidarity of #MeToo to fight the global pandemic of violence against women and girls and ensure their dignity.