25 November : International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

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United Nations General Assembly observes each year 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It marks the day by organizing activities to highlight the problem and raise public awareness so as to put an end to violence against women throughout the world which according to UN affects one in every three women in her lifetime.

Background

  • observed by some Women's activists since 1981 to mark the 1960 brutal assassination of 3 Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961)
  • 20 December 1993 : UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.
  • designated by an UNGA resolution in December 1999 as International Day.

Problem

  • Global pandemic : Violence against women is a social problem which, inter alia, has roots in discrimination (in law and  practice), inequalities (between men and women).
  • It can be termed the case of human right violation which impedes (or impacts on) progress in areas like poverty eradication, peace, security and combating HIV/AIDS.

Prevention

  • governments, NGOs and international organizations need to put effort to enact and enforce laws prohibiting such violence
  • chane in mindset of the society as well as the lawmakers 

UN Facts and Figures :

  • Violence :   upto 70% of women have experienced it in their lifetime
  • Trafficking : 80% are Women /girls out of estimated 500,000 to 2 m people trafficked annually into prostitution, slavery/servitude or forced labour.
  • Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) : more than 130 m girls and women alive today(mainly in Africa and some Middle Eastern countries)
  • intimate partner violence : costs billions of dollars in terms of medical/health care as well as productivity loss due to it.

UN Secretary General's Campaign : UNITE to End Violence Against Women / Orange Day

  • Campaign : 25th of each month to be observed as Orange Day by wearing something orange
  • Orange the World in 16 days : In 2013 Orange Day has been extended to 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence starting November 25 to December 10 (Human Rights Day).
  • Launched in 2008 to highlight the problem/ extract political commitments of national governments, backed by adequate resources and meaningful actions. 
  • Aims for :
    - national laws, multi-sectoral national action plans; 
    - data collection and analysis systems on the prevalence of the crime ;
    - national and/or local campaigns and the engagement of a diverse range of civil society actors ;
    - address sexual violence in conflict situations ; protect women and girls from rape as a tactic of war; full implementation of related laws and policies

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

  • Established in 1946 it is the Principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and empowerment and advancement of women.
  • a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
  • Meets every year in Newyork (UN headquarter) to evaluate progress identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies 
  • Latest Meet : 57th session in 2013 March
  • responsible for organizing and following up the World conferences on women

World conferences on women
1st) Mexico (1975)
2nd) Copenhagen(1980)
3rd) Nairobi (1985) and
4th) Beijing (1995)

Beijing World conference on women : 

  • Beijing Platform for Action : 12 critical areas of concern identified 
  • 10 year review of the Beijing Platform for Action : in March 2005 (commissions 49th session)
  • "Beijing Declaration" : on the occasion of the ten-year review
  • 15 year review of the Beijing Platform for Action : during 54th session of CSW.

OTHER UN Observances in November :

World Toilet Day (19 November)
Universal Children’s Day (20 November)
Africa Industrialization Day (20 November)
World Philosophy Day (21 November)
World Television Day (21 November)
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November)
International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (29 November)

Practice Questions
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