International Day for Violence Against Women

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 12, 2022, 5:19

Nearly 1 in 3 girls and women experience physical or sexual forms of violence in their lifetime. November 25 is observed as International Day for Violence Against Women to increase awareness and eliminate gender-based violence and abuse against girls and women worldwide.

History of International Day for Violence Against Women

Since 1981, November 25 has been recognized as International Day for Violence Against Women by women's rights activists. The date honours the Mirabal sisters from the Dominican Republic.

Today, three of the four Mirabal sisters are remembered as feminist icons who stood against the cruel and suppressive dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. On November 25, 1960, the Mirabal sisters were brutally murdered on the order of Rafael Trujillo.

The active opposition of the Mirabal Sisters against their country's dictatorship highlights the importance of speaking out against wrong-doing and violence against women.

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Significance of International Day for Violence Against Women

Less than 40 percent of the women who experience violence seek help. Cases of abuse and violence against women remain unreported mainly due to the stigma and shame. Today, persistent abuse against women and girls is one of the most common and devastating human rights violations globally.

This marks the urgency of International Day for Violence Against Women as it raises awareness and fights for ending violence against women and girls.

It is crucial to eliminate violence against women because

  • It adversely affects a girl's or woman's psychological, sexual, and reproductive health.
  • It restricts their access to higher education and employment opportunities.
  • It hinders a country's chances of achieving development, equality, peace, and fulfilment of girls' and women's human rights.

Violence against women and girls includes any form of abuse that is physical, sexual, or psychological, and this includes but is not restricted to -

  • Violence by an intimate partner (marital rape, psychological abuse, physical assault, femicide, etc).
  • Violence against underage girls forced into the act of (child marriage, female genital mutilation, child sexual abuse, etc.).
  • Human trafficking (slavery or sexual exploitation).
  • Sexual harassment and violence (unwanted sexual acts, forced marriage, street harassment, cyber-stalking, etc.)

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Development of International Day for Violence Against Women

To eradicate worldwide violence against women and girls, the General Assembly has taken the following steps

  • On December 20, 1993, it adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women through resolution 48/104.
  • On February 7, 2000, it adopted resolution 54/134 to invite governments, international organizations, and NGOs to jointly create ventures to raise awareness and eliminate abuse against women.
  • On November 25, 2021, the UN launched the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign' 16-days of activism during which iconic buildings and landmarks were painted Orange' to underline the importance of a violence-free future, as the colour orange symbolizes a brighter future, free of violence.

Women have the right to equality and protection of all human rights, be it economic, social, cultural, political, or any other field. This includes a woman's right to a life without violence, equal law protection, fair employment opportunities, and finally, the right not to be subjected to cruelty, torture, or any other forms of inhuman treatment. International Day for Violence Against Women celebrates women and aims to raise awareness to protect them from all abuse.

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FAQs on International Day for Violence Against Women

Q.1. What is the history behind International Day for Violence Against Women?

International Day for Violence Against Women Day commemorates the death of three of the Mirabal sisters and their fight against injustice.

Q.2. How was the International Day for Violence Against Women 2021 celebrated?

International Day for Violence Against Women was a 16-day campaign that ended on December 10 with Human Rights Day. Several public events were organized, and iconic buildings and landmarks were painted 'orange', highlighting the need for a violence-free future.

Q.3. When is the International Day for Violence Against Women celebrated?

November 25 is observed as International Day for Violence Against Women to increase awareness and eliminate violence against women.

Q.4. What was the theme for International Day for Violence Against Women 2021?

The theme was Orange the World' to symbolize a future free of violence against women for International Day for Violence Against Women 2021.

Q.5. Why is International Day for Violence Against Women celebrated?

International Day for Violence Against Women is celebrated to raise awareness and eradicate violence against women and girls worldwide.