Today, 25 November, has been designated as the annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This international day aims to raise awareness of the fact that many women around the world are constantly facing and experiencing violence in their lives, be it in the form of rape, domestic violence, or other types of violence.
Facts about this annual day as noted on the United Nations website:
- 35% of women and girls globally experience some form of physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime, with up to seven in ten women facing this abuse in some countries.
- 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 costs and consequence of violence against women last for generations.
- Violence against women is a human rights violation.
- Violence against women is a consequence of discrimination against women, in law and also in practice, and of persisting inequalities between men and women.
- 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. (Own emphasis.)
This year, the campaign structured around this annual day is emphasising the fact that many of these violent acts against women are often hidden from others or kept secret. Women are afraid to stand up for themselves because of fear of prosecution and even further violent acts against them.
We believe that these violent acts can be stopped by empowering women to stand up for themselves by providing platforms for them to speak up and to break away from the destruction it causes in their lives. Government organisations, NGOs, and international organisations across the globe are encouraged to arrange activities on this day to promote this cause and to create public awareness of this problem.
To see some of the activities that are being carried out, search for the hashtag #orangetheworld on Twitter.
Did you know?
In South Africa, today also marks the start of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.
As stated on SouthAfrica.info, this campaign aims to:
- Challenge the perpetrators of violence to change their behaviour.
- Involve men in helping to eradicate violence.
- Provide survivors with information on services and organisations that can help lessen the impact of violence on their lives.
Read more here: