International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

November 16, 2017

November 25th is designated as the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.  This is a day when we can bring attention to this issue and do what we can to help put an end to it.

Why was November 25th chosen to mark this day?  In 1960, three sisters were assassinated in the Dominican Republic on the orders of the Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo. The Mirabel sisters had fought to end Trujillo's dictatorship. Activists on women's rights have observed a day against violence on the anniversary of the deaths of these three women since 1981. 

On December 17, 1999 the UN General Assembly designated November 25th as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.  

This year the European Union and the United Nations launched the Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls.  Another initiative, UNiTE to end violence against women  launched in 2008 by the then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, is also supported by his successor, António Guterres.

UNiTE leads the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which aims to raise public awareness and mobilize people everywhere to bring about change. Those 16 days go from 25th November to 10th December, which is Human Rights Day. The theme of the campaign for 2017 is “Leave no one behind: end violence against women and girls”. As in previous years, the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign invites you to “Orange the world,” using the colour designated by the UNiTE campaign to symbolize a brighter future without violence.