The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was adopted by the United Nations resolution 53/134. The General Assembly of the United Nations agreed that “violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of their full advancement, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into subordinate positions, compared with men.”
The Assembly defines violence against women as: “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.”
UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon comments on the day:
“Violence against women and girls takes many forms and is widespread throughout the globe. It includes rape, domestic violence, harassment at work, abuse in school, female genital mutilation and sexual violence in armed conflicts. It is predominantly inflicted by men. Whether in developing or developed countries, the pervasiveness of this violence should shock us all. Violence – and in many cases the mere threat of it – is one of the most significant barriers to women’s full equality.”
This day is also known as the White Ribbon Day also signals the start of 16 Days of Activism against violence against women, with NGOs and community groups to hold events every day until 10 December to keep the focus on domestic violence issues. These 16 Days of Activism to end violence against women involve groups all over the world who speak up for support against such violence. This year the campaign calls for overcoming challenges and obstacles to gain long-overdue results in the struggle to end violence against women. It pays particular attention to social attitudes and policies that continue to condone and perpetuate abuses.
Read more about this international day here.
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