November 25- International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women

On November 25, 1960, the Mirabal sisters were brutally assassinated because of their identity as women and activists. Their only crime was fighting for their rights against the Dominican dictator, Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).

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In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 48/104 for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which defines this type of violence as: “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” Consequently, to solidify this decision, in 1999, the General Assembly proclaimed November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. 

This year, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women will mark the launch of the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign (November 25- December 10) — an initiative of 16 days of activism concluding on the day that commemorates the International Human Rights Day (December 10). The UN Secretary-General and UN Women have led this campaign since 2008. It aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls worldwide, calling for global action to increase awareness, promote advocacy, and create opportunities for discussion on challenges and solutions. 

Some facts and figures

– 1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner.

– One hundred thirty-seven women are killed by a member of their family every day.

– Fewer than 40 per cent of the women who experience violence seek help of any sort.

More facts and figures are available here:

2021 Theme: Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!

Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime. In times of crises like the current COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts, and climate disasters, the numbers rise further. A new report from UN Women, based on data from 13 countries since the pandemic, shows that 2 in 3 women reported that they or a woman they know experienced some form of violence and are more likely to face food insecurity. Only 1 in 10 women said that victims would go to the police for help.

While pervasive, gender-based violence is not inevitable, it can and must be prevented. Stopping this violence starts with believing survivors, adopting comprehensive and inclusive approaches that tackle the root causes, transform harmful social norms, and empower women and girls. We can end gender-based violence with survivor-centered essential services across policing, justice, health, and social sectors and sufficient financing for the women’s rights agenda. Based on this premise, this year’s theme has been kept as “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”. Orange is our color to represent a brighter future free of violence against women and girls. 

While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable – for instance, young girls and older women, women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, migrants and refugees, indigenous women and ethnic minorities, or women and girls living with HIV and disabilities, and those living through humanitarian crises.

Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace, and the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights. All in all, the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – to leave no one behind – cannot be fulfilled without putting an end to violence against women and girls.

For more information, please see:

Shristi Banerjee

Lawyer, Jharkhand High Court (India)

Global Representative (India), Roya Institute of Global Justice