SDWatch | Blog

Since 1981, on 25th of November, the International community commemorates the day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This symbolic date was selected to honour the Mirabel sisters, three political activists from Dominican Republic that were assassinated by order of the dictator, Rafael Trujillo in 1960, as opponents to the authoritarian regime.

By decades, women have struggled and fought for the recognition as human beings, and in consequence, as subjects of fundamental human rights. Unfortunately, despite the International Conventions, as the CEDAW[1] (Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women), or the regional treaties that aimed for the elimination of violence against women, as Belem Do Parà Convention[2] (Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women), women still suffer different forms of violence.

One of the biggest obstacles, is that violence against women is perpetrated not only in public spheres, but most of the cases are suffered in the private ones. This means that is very difficult to collect enough data that can demonstrate closely the reality of thousands of women worldwide. Nevertheless, every year more and more women and girls are self-conscious about this situation, which has improved considerably the availability of the information. For example, as UN Women has reported, the prevalence of data regarding intimate partner violence is now available for at least 161 countries.[3] 

According to UN Women, “Near 45.000 women and girls were killed by their intimate partners or other family members, only in 2021; while 56% of the female homicides are committed by intimate partners or family members, while at the same time, only 11% of all male homicides are perpetrated in the private sphere.”[4]

However, physical violence or murders, are not the only forms to exercise violence against women. Sadly, different conducts or phenomena can be considered violence, with a wide branch of causes. As the UN reported, climate change and the environmental degradation is one of them, these conditions increase the risk of violence due to displacements, resource scarcity and food insecurity. For instance, after the occurrence of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, in Mississippi USA, the rate of rape among women displaced to trailer parks rose 53.6 times the baselines for that state. In Ethiopia there was an increase in girls sold for child marriages in exchange of livestock to the family, after prolonged droughts.[5]

Within this context, now is possible to find different institutions which had had an important role in the empowerment of women and fight against violence, during the last decades. Since 2008, under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General, the initiative UNITE to End Violence against Women was created as a multilayer effort to prevent and eliminate this type of violence, to support the civil society led 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence.[6]

This campaign is managed by UN Women and has the aim to reach collaboration between different social groups, such as governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the media, etc., initiating on November 25th (Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) until December 10th (Human Rights Day).

On 2023 the campaign is themed “Investing to prevent violence against women and girls” focusing on the importance of investing in different prevention strategies to stop violence from its beginning.

And here you can find some of the activities that will be held during the coming days in Milano, Torino and online:







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