The United Nations General Assembly through resolution 54/134 of December 17, 1999, designated November 25 as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Prior to that, women’s activists had marked the date as a day against violence since 1981. This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960, of the three Mirabal sisters (political activists in the Dominican Republic, which story was later filmed in In the Time of Butterflies), on orders of Dominican rule Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).
Violence against women is a human rights violations. Recent facts and figures reveal that:
- 35% of women and girls globally experience some form of physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime with up to 7 in 10 women facing this abuse in some countries
- An estimated 133 million girls and women have experienced some form of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the harmful practice is most common
- Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children, 250 million of whom were married before the age of 15. Girls who marry before the age of 18 are less likely to complete their education and more likely to experience domestic violence and complications in childbirth (the following video might help you to get the logic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e8xgF0JtVg or this simple photo https://www.facebook.com/ONE/photos/a.179130009471.121736.11055104471/10152474650649472/?type=3)
- The costs and consequences of violence against women last for generations
Violence against women is a consequence of discrimination against women, in law and also in practice, and of persisting inequalities between men and women (should you forget the simple formula, I re-write it here, “Gender equality gives women and men the same entitlements to all aspects of human development, including economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights; the same level of respect; the same opportunities to make choices; and the same level of power to shape the outcomes of these choices.”)
Violence against women impacts on, and impedes, progress in many areas, including poverty eradication, combating HIV/AIDS, and peace and security.
Violence against women and girls is not inevitable. Prevention is possible and essential.
Violence against women continues to be a global pandemic (check this infographic: http://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/multimedia/2015/11/infographic-violence-against-women)
This writing is my personal commitment of joining 16 days of activism.
From November 25 to December 10 of Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991. This year marks the 21-year anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPFA) -the most progressive road map to gender equality. This first writing is merely a compilation of information from various resources to kick off. The next writings will be written either in English or Bahasa Indonesia (my national language). You are free to check the followings for further information about the campaign: http://www.un.org/en/events/endviolenceday/ and http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-action/16-days-of-activism