International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The premise of the day is to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence; another of the aims of the day is to highlight that the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden.
On November 25, 1960, three sisters, Patria Mercedes Mirabal, María Argentina Minerva Mirabal and Antonia María Teresa Mirabal, were assassinated in the Dominican Republic on the orders of the Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo. The Mirabel sisters fought hard to end Trujillo’s dictatorship. Activists on women’s rights have observed a day against violence on the anniversary of the deaths of these three women since. In 1999, November 25 was designated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by the UN General Assembly.
Secretary-General’s Message for 2013: Violence against women and girls directly affects individuals while harming our common humanity. In response to this global challenge, I launched my UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign in 2008. Since then, partners around the world have joined our drive to protect the human rights of women and girls to live free from violence. I welcome the chorus of voices calling for an end to the violence that affects an estimated one in three women in her lifetime. I applaud leaders who are helping to enact and enforce laws and change mindsets. And I pay tribute to all those heroes around the world who help victims to heal and to become agents of change.
Traditionally, this Day marks the start of 16 days of activism. From November 25th until December 10th – Human Rights Day – we make a special effort to organize and combat violence against women, an egregious human rights violation. This year, we are raising awareness by wearing the colour orange to symbolize our commitment to this cause. This International Day to End Violence against Women is an opportunity for all people to recommit to preventing and halting all forms of violence against women and girls. Ban Ki-moon