International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
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The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Resolution 54/134). 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.
Historically, the date is based on 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). In 1981, activists 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Recognition in different countries
In Australia a campaign has formed around International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. While it operates all year round, its activities culminate on 25 November each year. The campaign has gained momentum under the name White Ribbon Day and in particular targets the need for Australian men to take a leading role. While the majority of men are not violent, the majority of reported violence is perpetrated by men. Therefore the campaign is trying to position men to take up the responsibility to lead a change in the culture that perpetuates violence.
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." The statistics were taken from a report, published in 2005 (reissue), entitled "Personal Safety Survey Australia".
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." The article refers to the The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 that was published by the Australian government in September 2012—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 AgainstWomen and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
In September 2014 VicHealth released the results of the National Community Attitudes towards Violence Against Women Survey. The information was gathered by telephone interviews with over 17,500 Australian men and women aged over 16 years.
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.
- Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women
- EGM: prevention of violence against women and girls
- National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6 in Canada.
- Stop Violence Against Women, a campaign of Amnesty International
- "International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women". United Nations. United Nations. 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "16 Days". UN Women. UN Women. 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "HOW PARLIAMENTS CAN AND MUST PROMOTE EFF ECTIVE WAYS OF COMBATING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN ALL FIELD" (PDF). The 114 th Assembly of the Inter -Parliamentary Union,. IPU. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women". UN Women. UN Women. 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "UN Women Executive Director's Message for 2014". UN Women. UN Women. 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "Secretary-General's Message for 2013". United Nations. United Nations. 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
- 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.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006). "Personal Safety Survey Australia" (PDF). Australian Bureau of Statistics. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- "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.
- International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: In Focus.
- 16 Days of activism, UN Women 2014.
- UN publications relating to violence against women, at the UN's Dag Hammarskjöld Library.
- International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
- BBC News - UN unveils Network of Men to fight abuse of women.