Join us today in celebrating The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

“Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights”

Hillary Clinton

On November 25, 1960, three sisters, Patria Mercedes Mirabal, María Argentina Minerva Mirabal and Antonia María Teresa Mirabal, were assassinated in the Dominican Republic on the orders of the Dominican ruler, Rafael Trujillo. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was started in 1999 to commemorate the Mirabal sisters. The day was chosen to honour their courage in taking political action despite the brutality they faced. The Mirabel sisters fought hard to end Trujillo's dictatorship and remain a beacon of feminist activism to this day.

56 years on… we are still fighting: violence against women is continuing and it is widespread. The stats are stark.

  • On average, around the world at least one in three women is beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner in the course of her lifetime.
  • Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, motor accidents, war and malaria.
  • Several global surveys suggest that half of all women who die from homicide are killed by their current or former husbands or partners.

Globally, women and girls continue to experience widespread violence. Throughout the world, women and girls are still being beaten at home, sexually and economically exploited, assaulted on our streets or at work, harassed online or while playing sports, raped, mutilated, or forced to marry. More needs to be done to ensure that any sort of violence against women is eliminated

DFID’s What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls flagship programme, which is investing an unprecedented £25 million over five years to the prevention of violence against women and girls, is building knowledge on which interventions work to strengthen women and girls’ ability to protect themselves from violence. The research will provide high quality and rigorous evidence that can be used by civil society organisations, multilateral agencies, governments and academics to develop programmes that will contribute to eliminating gender-based violence.

Ultimately, working with both the perpetrators of violence (men and boys) and women and girls will be essential to achieve lasting change, by transforming deeply entrenched societal norms on gender relations and the insidious belief that women are inferior. Men must be part of the solution, they need to both change themselves and align themselves with women to deepen and sustain the goals of women’s rights and empowerment in economic, political, and domestic terms. Deepening of men’s understanding of the need for this change is crucial.

Join us today in celebrating all we have achieved to eliminate violence against women. We still have a long road ahead… but we can make it together.

"Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation, public health pandemic and serious obstacle to sustainable development. It imposes large-scale costs on families, communities and economies. The world cannot afford to pay this price." — Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

@WhatWorksVAWG

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