UN Women’s executive coordinator and spokesperson on Sexual Harassment, Purna Sen, has warned that sentences like the one given in Spain in the so-called Manada (wolf pack) case, "diminish the severity" of the crimes involved and "undermine clear obligations to uphold the rights of women".
Sen cited Spain as one of the countries the #MeToo movement has swept through, as part of which "women have been taking to the streets, speaking out about the violence they face and standing in solidarity with their sisters".
UN Women's executive coordinator noted that sexual harassment and assault are global phenomena to which "no organization or country should think itself immune". "Too many women feel nobody is listening to them, nobody believes them or cares. I salute the women brave enough to speak up, despite the risks," she writes.
Sexual harassment, she said, is one aspect of the broader problem of violence against women and that perpetrators have to be held responsible.
"The light sentencing of ‘the wolf pack’ attackers in Spain diminishes the severity of the violation and undermines clear obligations to uphold the rights of women", writes Sen in her note. She describes such violence as being an "expression of [the] structural inequality between men and women".