Today, IUSY recalls once again for stopping violence against women and any structural gender-based inequality. November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999 and fought for by grass roots feminist activists since the 1980s.
The struggle for a society without violence must be a struggle for gender equality within society. Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive violation of human rights in the world today. It is the most alarming indicator of gender inequality.
Historically, the date commemorates the assassinations of the political activists and sisters Patria Mirabal Mercedes, María Argentina Minerva Mirabal and Antonia María Teresa Mirabal. They were known as “Las Mariposas” (The Butterflies) and were member of the opposition movement “June 14th“. They fought against the dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. On November 25th, 1960, after months of rape and torture ordered by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, they got murdered.
To remember the fight of the Mariposas, the novelist Ángela Hernández proposed to introduce November 25th as a day of action against violence on women at a congress of South American and Caribbean feminists in Bogotá (Colombia) in 1981.
Today and in the upcoming days, there are numerous activities of IUSY member organisations all over world. Both causes and consequences of violence against women are numerous and go hand in hand with the unequal distribution of power between genders. Today is about speakig about it. About making this visible. About breaking the silence. Get involved – we need every single voice to support this cause.
Shaping a future of gender equality, all of us should also participate in today’s action day task of making the institutions that are already there to help women in situations of violence more visible. If you know places that support women in situations of violence, share this knowledge with the women you know. Stand up for more save spaces for women, stand up for more prevention measures, for better and more sensitive education on gender-based violence and oppression. We need all of you, because we are in this together. Fight with us for gender equality and against violence on women!
No more excuses – stop violence against women now!