November 25th is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, also known as “Ending Violence Against Women’s Day,” is observed globally on November 25 every year. On November 25, 1960, the Mirabal sisters in the Dominican Republic were brutally assassinated because of their identity as women and activists because they fought for their rights against the Dominican dictator, Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961). Because of their bravery and in their honor, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

It serves as a reminder of the violence faced by women worldwide and the urgent need to address this issue. According to recent studies published by the United Nations, almost 1 in 3 women—about 736 million worldwide—have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from someone close to them. When it comes to lethal violence, on average, more than five women or girls are killed every hour by someone in their own family.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women acts as a catalyst for change and empowers individuals and communities to stand against all forms of violence, not just political oppression. Other examples include:

  • Domestic violence;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Trafficking; and
  • Other practices that result in violence against women.

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 48/104 for the Elimination of Violence Against Women which defines this type of violence 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 in private life.”

While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable—for instance, young girls; older women; women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex; migrants and refugees; indigenous women and ethnic minorities; women and girls living with HIV and other disabilities; and those living through humanitarian crises.

The IAM implemented a program called Be More than a Bystander. The program was designed to inform participants about how to recognize workplace harassment and violence, specifically against women and the LBGTQ+IA community. Every act to prevent violence against women not only creates a safer environment for our IAM Sisters, but makes life better and safer for everyone.

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