On November 25 we celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This date was chosen after the horrible deaths of three Dominican sisters who were fighting to have a country free of dictatorship back in 1960. According to the UN, 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.
As countries implemented lockdown measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, violence against women, especially domestic violence, intensified – in some countries, calls to helplines have increased five-fold.
The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls, will focus on amplifying the call for global action to bridge funding gaps, ensure essential services for survivors of violence during the COVID-19 crisis, focus on prevention, and collection of data that can improve life-saving services for women and girls.
This year’s theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”.Like in previous years, this year’s International Day will mark the launch of 16 days of activism that will conclude on 10 December 2020, which is International Human Rights Day.
Several public events are being coordinated for this year’s International Day. Iconic buildings and landmarks will be ‘oranged’ to recall the need for a violence-free future.
Today we join the fight for the elimination of violence against women, and we share some powerful quotes that will make you think on the matter.
“No woman has to be a victim of physical abuse. Women have to feel like they are not alone.” – Salma Hayek
“We must unite. Violence against women cannot be tolerated, in any form, in any context, in any circumstance, by any political leader or by any government.” – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
“I think we’re at a time where people just want to join together and cause change. People don’t want to live like this any more.” – UN Messenger of Peace Charlize Theron
“We have to promote human solidarity, avoid indifference, and play a part with society in the solution of the problem of violence…” Shakira
“If we are to fight discrimination and injustice against women we must start from the home for if a woman cannot be safe in her own house then she cannot be expected to feel safe anywhere.”
― Aysha Taryam
“There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.” – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
“Perpetrators of abuse often make their victims believe that they are somehow responsible for their own abuse. Such misplaced notions shift the blame of the abuse from the abuser to the abusee.”
― Mallika Nawal
“If a woman is harassed, it is because she asked for it? She dressed for it? She walked for it? She spoke for it? I would like to challenge that.”
“One in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime. This is an appalling human rights violation, yet it remains one of the invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time.” – Nicole Kidman
“Self respect by definition is a confidence and pride in knowing that your behaviour is both honorable and dignified. When you harass or vilify someone, you not only disrespect them, but yourself also.
“There is a subconscious way of taking violence as a way of expression, as a normality, and it has a lot of effects in the youth in the way they absorb education and what they hope to get out of life.” – Salma Hayek
Street harassment, sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based violence and racism, are all acts committed by a person who in fact has no self respect.
-Respect yourself by respecting others.”
Miya Yamanouchi ,
“Women face an uphill battle, from sexism and violence to inequality. In some areas, they are forced to deal with a culture that promotes primitive practices that endanger them, not just physically, but emotionally as well.”
“Toxic Masculinity, Violence against Women and Children, Racism, are all pernicious diseases prevalent in our world. Along with pandemics, we need to get rid of these vicious negativities as well. We have to make this World change for the better.”
“Today I wore a pair of faded old jeans and a plain grey baggy shirt. I hadn’t even taken a shower, and I did not put on an ounce of makeup. I grabbed a worn out black oversized jacket to cover myself with even though it is warm outside. I have made conscious decisions lately to look like less of what I felt a male would want to see. I want to disappear.”
― Sierra D. Waters, Debbie.