On November 25, 1960, the Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic were assassinated by supporters of dictator Rafael Trujillo. The sisters, who had been active in movements against the Trujillo regime, were beaten and strangled to death, then placed in a Jeep driven off a mountainous road to make their deaths appear accidental. In December 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The date marks the beginning of 16 days of remembrance and activism, culminating in International Human Rights Day.
According to a report by the United Nations, 19 per cent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 have experienced physical and sexual violence “by an intimate partner.” In some cases, this violence ends in the woman’s death.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
November 25, 1960
Mirabal sisters Assassinated
The assassination of three female Dominican political activists triggered the idea for International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The Date is Saved
Women attend the Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Encuentros, which mark November 25 as a day to raise awareness of violence against women.
December 17, 1999
The Day Becomes Official
A United Nations resolution establishes November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Around 150,000 people in Rome participated in the third ‘Non-Una di Meno’ march protests for women’s rights and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
How to Observe International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
- Join the movement
- You can do many things to keep the momentum going — from learning the facts about violence against women to organizing meetings, teach-ins and marches to express your support and solidarity.
- Share photos, messages and videos are showing how you “orange the world” alongside other women worldwide. It’s all part of a campaign organized by UN Women, the United Nations organization that dedicates itself to gender equality and the continuing empowerment of women.
- Write an op-ed
- Most local newspapers are happy to accept opinion pieces from readers. Write an op-ed alerting others to the existence of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
5 Facts About Violence Against Women
- It’s an epidemic
- A non-partner has physically and sexually assaulted an estimated 35 per cent of women worldwide.
- It’s up close and personal
- Some studies show up to 70 per cent of women have experienced violence from an intimate partner.
- It’s spreading
- Women and girls account for 71 per cent of all human trafficking victims.
- The numbers are staggering
- More than 1 in 10 females have experienced forced sexual acts.
- Times are changing
- At least 140 countries have laws against domestic violence and sexual harassment.
Importance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
- It raises awareness
- Every second of every day, women worldwide are subjected to violence. Observing this day provides us with the space to recognize the problem and to start taking steps to reduce and, hopefully, eliminate it.
- It inspires action
- This day is not only a chance to raise awareness but to create an atmosphere where women and men can organize together and take direct action to combat the epidemic of violence against women.
- It makes the future bright
- Only when women are free from the fear of brutality can we start to create a future in which every person is treated with respect and dignity.