Response Updates

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (2023)

Reported by Convoy of Hope

Welcome to our guide to understanding the importance and impact of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Join us as we delve into the history, activities, and opportunities represented by this day. Let’s make a positive impact on behalf of victimized women and raise awareness on this critical issue!

In this article, we will explore:

Women's Empowerment Family

What Is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women?

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, also known as “Ending Violence Against Women’s Day,” is a global event observed annually on November 25.

It serves as a stark reminder of the violence faced by women worldwide and the urgent need to address that tragedy. According to recent studies published by the United Nations, almost 1 in 3 women — about 736 million worldwide — have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from someone close to them. When it comes to lethal violence, on average, more than five women or girls are killed every hour by someone in their own family.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women acts as a catalyst for change and empowers individuals and communities to stand against all forms of violence, including:

  • • Domestic violence
  • • Sexual assault
  • • Trafficking
  • • Other practices that are harmful to women

How Did International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Begin?

Women around the world are making strides to eliminate gender-based violence.

The day’s formal recognition can be traced back to the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991.

During this event, activists initiated the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” campaign, commencing on November 25 and concluding on December 10, which is Human Rights Day.

This period symbolizes the intrinsic link between gender-based violence and human rights. The campaign aims to mobilize individuals and organizations to actively engage in acts to end violence against women.

The Mirabal Sisters

The Mirabal sisters, also known as “Las Mariposas (The Butterflies),” played a significant role in the history of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. They were courageous political activists in the Dominican Republic who fought against dictator Rafael Trujillo in the mid-20th century.

The Mirabal sisters — Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa — became symbols of resistance and female empowerment during a time when speaking out against the regime was extremely dangerous.

They were deeply committed to the causes of:

  • • Human rights
  • • Democracy
  • • Gender equality

Trujillo’s regime was known for its brutal repression and violence, particularly toward women. The Mirabal sisters actively challenged the dictatorship’s oppressive tactics and advocated for freedom and justice. Their bravery and determination inspired many others to join the resistance movement.

Tragically, on November 25, 1960, the Mirabal sisters were brutally assassinated by Trujillo’s henchmen.

Their deaths sparked outrage and led to increased international attention on the violence faced by women in the Dominican Republic and beyond. In their honor, November 25 was later designated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The Mirabal sisters’ sacrifice and unwavering commitment to the fight against violence serve as powerful reminders of the importance of ending gender-based violence worldwide.

Their legacy continues to inspire individuals and organizations to work toward creating a world where women and girls can live without fear of violence and oppression.

The U.N. officially established the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in 2000 through a resolution adopted by the General Assembly.

This resolution called upon governments, international organizations, and civil society to observe November 25 as a day to raise awareness and take action against gender-based violence.

Through its various entities, such as U.N. Women and UNICEF, the U.N. leads and supports initiatives and campaigns focused on eliminating violence against women and girls.

It provides:

  • • Resources
  • • Expertise
  • • And coordination

to facilitate global efforts in preventing and responding to gender-based violence.

The U.N.’s involvement goes beyond the commemoration of a single day. It actively engages in promoting policies and programs that address the root causes of violence against women and work toward achieving gender equality.

A group of girls eat lunch

The U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically Goal 5, “Gender Equality,” includes targets related to ending violence against women.

Furthermore, the U.N. encourages member states to:

  • • Enact legislation.
  • • Strengthen institutions.
  • • Allocate resources to combat violence against women.

It also emphasizes the importance of comprehensive services for survivors of gender-based violence, including access to justice, health care, and support systems.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women serves as a platform for the U.N. to raise global awareness, advocate for policy changes, and mobilize individuals, communities, and governments to take action. It highlights the U.N.’s commitment to ensuring the rights and safety of women and girls and reinforces the need for collective efforts to create a world free from violence and discrimination.

When Is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in 2023?

In 2023, the Elimination of Violence Against Women’s Day falls on Saturday, November 25. This year, the day falls soon after the U.S. observance of Thanksgiving. If you will be celebrating Thanksgiving with your family, consider expressing your gratitude for the women and girls in your family by marking this date in your calendar and preparing to join the global movement against gender-based violence. When you add your voice to the many thousands of others observing this day, you begin to move the needle in a positive direction to create a safer world for women and girls.

How Can Someone Celebrate International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women?

Raise Awareness

Education is a powerful tool in combating violence against women. Share informative content on social media, start conversations with friends and family, or organize awareness events in your community.

By increasing understanding and empathy, we can challenge harmful attitudes and behaviors.

Support Local Initiatives

Connect with organizations in your community that are dedicated to ending violence against women and girls.

Volunteer your time, offer financial support, or participate in their events and fundraisers. Together, we can amplify our impact and create safer spaces for all.

Convoy of Hope Logo

As just one example of a local initiative with a global reach, Convoy of Hope is a faith-based nonprofit organization that is committed to ending violence against women and girls through its strategic Women’s Empowerment initiative.

Convoy has found that empowering women to start their own businesses is an effective means of moving them out of poverty and abusive situations. Convoy recently celebrated a landmark achievement — helping more than 99,000 women and girls through the program. Hareg is just one of those women, and her story is inspiring.

Advocate for Change

Be a voice for gender equality and women’s rights. Engage with local and national policymakers to promote laws and policies that protect women from violence.

Support campaigns that call for stronger measures against sexual harassment and assault. Fight to ensure women have access to adequate health care. Together, we can create an environment where women can live free from fear.

Amplify Survivors’ Voices

Give survivors of violence a platform to share their stories and experiences. Listen with empathy, validate their experiences, and support them in their healing journey.

By amplifying their voices, we break the silence surrounding violence against women and empower others to seek help and justice. Share the stories you collect on social media using relevant hashtags to reach a broader audience and inspire change.

Next Steps

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is an opportunity for individuals, communities, and organizations worldwide to come together and take a stand against gender-based violence.

By understanding its significance, spreading awareness, supporting survivors, and advocating for change, we contribute to the global movement striving for a world where every woman and girl can live free from violence and fear.

Join us in this endeavor to eliminate violence against women around the world.

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