Violence against women continues to persist as one of the most heinous, systematic and prevalent human rights abuses in the world. It is a threat to all women, and an obstacle to all our efforts for development, peace and gender equality in all societies. -Secretary General of the United Nations , Ban Ki-moon
The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. They invite governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to organize activities on that day to raise public awareness on violence against women. Women’s activists have marked November 25 as a day against violence since 1981. The date came from the brutal 1961 assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo. The U.N. resolution was passed December 17, 1999.
More information and resources
United Nations Development Fund for Women – Statement from the Executive Director
This year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women marks a defining moment in the global drive to end violence against women. Fuelled by advocacy and action at the grassroots and national levels, the issue has moved to centre stage at the United Nations. In March 2008 the Secretary-General launched his global campaign, UNiTE to End Violence against Women. Its duration through 2015, the deadline for meeting the MDGs, is a challenge for all of us, governments, civil society as well as the international community to take the actions needed to stop this prevalent human rights violation. . . .
To protect women from violence, and respond to the needs of survivors, we urge the adoption of accountability frameworks, with minimal standards of protection and response. These provide a checklist against which to assess the degree to which a country is upholding the human rights of women. Among the measures which should be in place are:
- Prompt police response, health and legal services, free of charge, for poor women and girls;
- Shelters and safe options for women surviving or fleeing life-threatening situations;
- National hotlines available 24-hours a day to report abuse and seek protection;
- Basic front-line services for emergency and immediate care for women and girls who have suffered abuse and rape; and
- Accountable judiciary and national action plans to end discrimination and promote equality.