International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
25 November was declared as a day against violence against women by the first Feminist Encuentro for Latin America and the Caribbean held in Bogota, Colombia, 18 to 21 July 1981. It originally marked the day that the three Mirabal sisters from the Dominican Republic were violently assassinated in 1960 during the Trujillo dictatorship (Rafael Trujillo 1930-1961).
Proclamation of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
In December 1999, the General Assembly adopted resolution 54/134, proclaiming 25 November to be the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Many different stakeholders organize activities each 25 November to raise public awareness of the scourge of violence against women.
The Secretary-General regularly marks the day with a call to action against all forms and manifestations of violence against women. Other senior officials of the United Nations and high-level office-holders also contribute to the global advocacy effort.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations reminds all of us – men and women, soldiers and peacekeepers, citizens and leaders – that we have a responsibility to help end violence against women in his statement for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Press Release: “United Nations Independent Experts Call on States to Strengthen the Protection of Women from Violence” Statement of the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on violence against women, its causes and consequences, and the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment (25 November 2007)
Press Release: In message for international day, Secretary-General calls for creation of environment ‘where violence against women is not tolerated’ (14 November 2006)
In June 1991, the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), with participants of the first Women’s Global Institute on Women, Violence and Human Rights, called for a global campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.
Participants chose the dates, November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women and December 10, International Human Rights Day, in order to emphasize that violence against women is a violation of human rights. This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, when 14 women engineering students were gunned down for being feminists; and 10 December, Human Rights Day.
Each year, the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence focuses on a particular theme. Since its inception, the campaign has grown exponentially and, in 2005, activities took place in some 130 countries, involving different levels and sectors of Government, international and local NGOs, and United Nations entities.
In recent years, entities of the United Nations system, including various funds and agencies, and United Nations country offices, have participated in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence in various ways. A few recent examples include: the United Nations office in Kyrgyzstan’s participation in the country’s 2007 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Campaign by conducting a series of activities to promote the need for enhanced measures to enable the law enforcement agencies to prevent and reduce gender-based violence, in collaboration with the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR); the UNIFEM South Asia Office’s planning of a series of events for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence in 2007 on working with men and boys to prevent violence against women; and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) development of a website dedicated to the campaign.