Home / Women in Focus / Key debates / International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Women in Focus

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Maria Bell
By Maria Bell Published on 21 November 2012

One in three women around the world will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. These atrocities are happening every, single, day. Today, as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, you can do something extra to fight against it. Although we have come along way in protecting women against domestic, sexual, physical and mental violence, there is no doubt that is has not been enough.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

In fact, the United Nation states that violence against women and girls is still the most widespread violation of human rights in the modern world.

Originally set up by the United Nation General Assembly, The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women takes place on the 25th November every year. After that day, 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence will follow to call to attention to the cause.

The point of this day is to serve as a day of international observation; to make people aware of the fact that violence against women, in wartime, in peace, in the home, or in the streets is still happening all the time.

By inviting and encouraging governments, international organizations and NGO's to organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem of violence against women on this day, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hopes that one day violence against women will be eradicated.

Think that this doesn't affect you? Here's a few facts to look over:

    • Up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime.
    • Several global surveys suggest that half of all women who die from homicide are killed by their current or former husbands or partners.
    • Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria, according to World Bank data.

    In his Message for the IDEVW Ban Ki-moon says: "Violence against women is not confined to a specific culture, region or country, or to particular groups of women within a society. The roots of violence against women lie in persistent discrimination against women...

    On this International Day, I urge governments and partners around the world to harness the energy, ideas and leadership of young people to help us to end this pandemic of violence. Only then will we have a more just, peaceful and equitable world."

    What's going on?

    It's up to each individual government to organise parliamentary events but usually women's groups and charities offer rallies, communal meals, fund-raising activities and workshops for women around the world. So it's up to you to find out what's going on in your local area.

    On a wider scale however, this year the 25th November marks the second year of the Say No-UNiTE Orange Campaign ending on the 10th December - International Human Rights Day.

    UNiTE are encouraging everyone and anyone to get involved by setting up their own events, wearing something orange, or by sharing posts & tweeting about it using photos of the Unite ribbon or #orangeurworld hashtag.

    You can find out more about how to get involved here.

    Violence against women and our attitudes towards them still have a long way to go and it's time that people started talking about it more. Getting involved on the 25th November is a small step in the right direction so show your support!

    Tweet us at @sofeminineuk if you're going to get involved.

    by Maria Bell