STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN! Nov. 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

November 21, 2013


On November 25, 1960, three Dominican sisters, political activists known as the Hermanas Mirabal, were brutally assassinated for opposing the Trujillo dictatorship. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women remembers this day.

Since 1981, as a tribute to the Mirabal sisters, as well as global recognition of gender violence, the date 25 November has been marked by women’s activists as a day against violence against women. Following the adoption of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women by resolution 48/104 of 20 December 1993, the United Nations General Assembly, by resolution 54/134 of 17 December 1999, designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, inviting governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities on the day designed to raise public awareness of the problem of maltreatment of women.

© European Parliament/Pietro Naj-Oleari


In a declaration on behalf of the European Union,High Representative Catherine Ashton underlines the EU’s commitment to support the elimination of violence against women. She states that “Violence and abuse affect women from all kinds of backgrounds every day. As many as seven in ten women around the world report having experienced physical violence at some point in their lifetime.”

She went on to say that “the violence knows no geographical, cultural, social, economic or educational boundaries. It is a phenomenon that affects all societies and takes many gruesome forms: from sexual harassment to female genital mutilation, forced marriage to honour killings. Violence against women is arguably the most widespread human rights violation of our time. A violation that claims millions of victims every year and causes terrible physical and emotional pain.”

© European Parliament/Pietro Naj-Oleari

A promise is a promise: UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls in all parts of the world.

UNiTE brings together a host of UN agencies and offices to galvanize action across the UN system to prevent and punish violence against women.

Through UNiTE, the UN is joining forces with individuals, civil society and governments to put an end to violence against women in all its forms.

© Flickr/Eric Constantineau

What is the EU doing to End Violence against Women?

Catherine Ashton declares on behalf of the EU, “We must not only help prevent violence; we must also work to provide women with access to economic opportunities, to ensure their equal participation in public life, repeal laws and practices that continue to discriminate against them and ensure that homes, offices, streets and schools are safe for women and girls.”

She continues by saying “we have made protection against gender-based violence a key feature of the EU’s human rights strategy. And we have cleared the way for greater cooperation between the EU and the UN on this agenda. Women and girls are particularly targeted and vulnerable in conflict situations.  We have therefore made it a priority for the EU’s military and police missions to prevent and combat gender-based violence.”

She went on to give examples where the EU is actively promoting human rights. “The EU’s mission in Kosovo is, for example, already involved in the investigation and prosecution of war rape cases and in strengthening the fight against human trafficking. And the EU is spending € 4 million to reduce violence against women in Egypt.”

The elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls is the priority theme of the UN Commission on the Status of Women’s 57th session, which will be held in March 2013.

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(featured image from EU)