The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25th as the International Day for the Elimination of violence against women.
Women's rights activists have observed November 25th as a day against gender-based violence since the year 1981. This date was designated to this cause in order to honour the Mirabal sisters, three political activists who were brutally murdered in the year 1960 by an order by the country’s (Dominican Republic) ruler, Rafael Trujillo. On 20th December 1993, the General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, paving the path towards eradicating violence against women and girls worldwide.
Finally, on 7th February 2000, the General Assembly officially designated 25th November as the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, they invited world governments, international organizations as well as NGOs to join hands and organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the issue every year on that date.
Violence against women takes various forms and affects every society. Violence against women and girls is a form of gender-based violence. Violence against girls and women is among the most widespread and devastating violations of their human rights, some cases of these violence’s can be narrowed down to:
- Domestic Abuse
- Female genital cutting
- Early Child marriage
The UN general assembly in its Declaration on the elimination of violence against women defines violence against women 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.” The brutal psychological, physical or sexual harm causes severe health conditions that affect women at all stages of their life.
As stated in a WHO report noted that every 1 in 3 women is experiencing physical and/or sexual violence in their life. However, unlike an illness, perpetrators still choose to commit the crime of violence, when they still have an option to stop. Violence is not inevitable, and it can very well be prevented. But it’s not as straightforward as eradicating a virus. There is no vaccine, medication or cure. And there is no one single reason for why it happens.
Importance Of Elimination Of Violence
One peculiarity of gender-based violence is that it knows no economic or social boundaries and affects women of all socio-economic backgrounds, this issue needs to be addressed in both developed and developing countries.
This issue is not only devastating for survivors of violence but it also deeply affects their family members. Apart from this, one other problem is the high social and economic costs.
This violence leaves survivors with long-term physical and psychological trauma; and is used with terrifying effect in conflict settings, with women as the primary target.
Violence is not just limited to women, it also affects them in their tender age also. It is critical that girls are safe in school and colleges. Educating girls is crucial for the eradication of global violence. When societies don't value girls and their futures, entire communities suffer and generations are mired in poverty.
The UN Secretary General’s ‘UNiTE’ plans to End Violence against Women through their campaign (UNiTE campaign), managed by the UN Women, is a multi-year effort that aims at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls around the world. It calls on the governments, civil societies, women’s organizations, the media, the private sector, young people, and the entire UN system to join forces against this violence and also in addressing the global pandemic of such violence against women and girls.
The elimination of violence against women and girls is not a short-term goal. It requires most coordinated and sustained efforts from the world government and people. Showing that these efforts will yield the required results is the best tribute to survivors of this violence.