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International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
SignificanceAwareness of violence against Women
DateNovember 25th
Next time25 November 2019 (2019-11-25)
Related toThe 1960 murders of the Mirabal sisters

The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Resolution 54/134).[1] 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; furthermore, one of the aims of the day is to highlight that the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden. For 2014, the official Theme framed by the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women, is Orange your Neighbourhood.[2] For 2018, the official theme is "Orange the World:#HearMeToo".


Historically, the date is based on the date of the 1960 assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic; the killings were ordered by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930–1961).[1] In 1981, activists at the Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Encuentros marked November 25 as a day to combat and raise awareness of violence against women more broadly; on December 17, 1999, the date received its official United Nations (UN) resolution.[1][3]

The UN and the Inter-Parliamentary Union have encouraged governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities to support the day as an international observance.[4] For example, UN Women (the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) observes the day each year and offers suggestions for other organizations to observe it. For 2014, the focus is on how violence cuts across all 12 of the critical areas of concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which turns 20 next year.[5]

In her message for 25 November 2014, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said:

In 1995, close to 20 years ago, 189 governments came together in Beijing. They adopted a Platform for Action that spelled out key strategies to end violence against women, empower women, and achieve gender equality. ... The promises from 20 years ago are still valid today. Together we must make 2015 the year that marks the beginning of the end of gender inequality. Now is the time for action.[6]

In his message on the day in 2013, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated:

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.[7]

Recognition in different countries


In Australia a campaign has formed around International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.



Marches attracted hundreds of participants in Bogota[8], Paris, and Rome.[9] Thousands marched in San José, Costa Rica and Lima.[8] Over 1,000 Turkish protesters turned out for a banned march in Istanbul; police cut off the end of the march and dispersed the marchers peacefully.[9]


According to the organizers, around 150 thousand of participants in Rome[10] for the third Non Una Di Meno (Italian chapter of Ni Una Menos association) march for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and against Pillon decree[11], which took place from Piazza della Repubblica to Piazza San Giovanni. Among the participants, the former president of the Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini[12].

Data on violence against women


A March 2013 article on "The Conversation" online media outlet featured an article entitled "Ending violence against women is good for everyone" in relation to the observance of International Women's Day on that year. The article claimed that, while a general Australian belief exists that violence against Australian women is less severe in comparison to other nations, the Australian Bureau of Statistics had revealed in a report that "one in three Australian women will experience physical violence in their lifetime, while 23% to 28% will experience sexual or emotional harm."[13] The statistics were taken from a report, published in 2005 (reissue), entitled "Personal Safety Survey Australia".[14]

The Conversation article by Linda Murray and Lesley Pruitt then provided further Australia-specific data: "Violence is the leading cause of death, illness and disability for Australian women aged 15 to 44. It’s responsible for more illness and premature death than any other preventable cause, such as hypertension, obesity, or smoking."[13] The article refers to The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 that was published by the Australian government in September 2012[15]—the foreword of the Plan states:

The National Plan sets out a framework for action over the next 12 years. This plan shows Australia’s commitments to upholding the human rights of Australian women through the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Declaration to End Violence Against

Women and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.[15]

In September 2014, Australia's VicHealth released the results of the National Community Attitudes towards Violence Against Women Survey. This was the third of a series of such surveys, the first dating from 1995, and the second from 2009.[16][17] The information was gathered by telephone interviews with over 17,500 Australian men and women aged over 16 years, and indicated a continuing need for future prevention activity.


The latest data from the Italian Institute of Statistics point out that of the over 49,000 women who asked for help from the anti-violence centres in 2017, 64% had children, almost all of them minors, and 27% were foreign citizens. Of these, more than 29,000 have started their journey out of violence[18].

Human Rights Day

The date of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women also marks the start of the "16 Days of Activism" that precedes Human Rights Day on December 10 each year.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women". United Nations. United Nations. 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  2. ^ "16 Days". UN Women. UN Women. 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  3. ^ Gasa, Nomboniso (21 November 2011). "Women's bodies are a terrain of struggle". The Sunday Independent. Cape Town, South Africa. IOL. Archived from the original on 22 May 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  4. ^ "How Parliaments Can and Must Promote Effective Ways of Combating Violence Against Women in All Fields" (PDF). The 114th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. IPU. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  5. ^ "International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women". UN Women. UN Women. 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  6. ^ "UN Women Executive Director's Message for 2014". UN Women. UN Women. 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Secretary-General's Message for 2013". United Nations. United Nations. 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  8. ^ a b "PHOTOS: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2017". The Denver Post. 26 November 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  9. ^ a b "The Latest: Tense women's march in Turkey ends peacefully". Washington Post. Associated Press. 25 November 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Roma, manifestazione nazionale contro la violenza sulle donne". (in Italian).
  11. ^ ""Non una di meno", migliaia di donne in piazza a Roma contro la violenza". La Repubblica (in Italian).
  12. ^ "Violenza contro le donne, manifestazione a Roma: "Siamo 150mila". Palloncini rosa per Sara e Desirèe". (in Italian).
  13. ^ a b Linda Murray; Lesley Pruitt (8 March 2013). "Ending violence against women is good for everyone". The Conversation. The Conversation Media Group. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  14. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006). "Personal Safety Survey Australia" (PDF). Australian Bureau of Statistics. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  15. ^ a b "National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their children". The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). Australian Government. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-24. Retrieved 2014-09-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ Findings from the 2013 National Community Attitudes towards Violence Against Women Survey (NCAS), 17 Sep, 2014 Last updated: 21 Nov, 2017 at
  18. ^ "Centri antiviolenza e case rifugio". (in Italian).

External links

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