“It’s not enough for women to speak out on the issue – for the message to be strong and consistent, women’s voices must be backed up by men’s,” Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Michigan.
Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Celebration is being commemorated under the theme,” Youth Leadership in Preventing and Ending Violence against Women and Girls “.
This is a day for governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to raise public awareness of violence against women. The day has been observed on November 25 each year since 2000, after the UN General Assembly in resolution 53/134 recognized 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 UN resolution defines the term ‘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’. This day is also known as White Ribbon Day, and various groups produce and distribute white ribbons for people to wear to call for an end to violence against women.
The commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is an initiative by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign launched in 2008. Through the UNiTE campaign governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system join forces in addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls.
The campaign aim to achieve the following five goals in all countries by 2015:
• Adopt and enforce national laws to address and punish all forms of violence against women and girls
• Adopt and implement multi-sectoral national action plans
• Strengthen data collection on the prevalence of violence against women and girls
• Increase public awareness and social mobilization
• Address sexual violence in conflict.
FEMNET is appealing to all people and nations, to ensure that they uphold all women rights and issues. By protecting women against violence, we are upholding human dignity of our society. Women must be protected from any violence whether sexual, domestic or gender based, both in their home, school, work places, hospitals, churches and other institutions.