Eliminate violence against women — vow of the day

By Jamila Achakzai

ISLAMABAD: Oxfam will launch a nationwide programme today (Monday) titled ‘1,000 Events to End Violence against Women in Pakistan’ to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

In December 1999, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in its 54th session, declaring November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The origin of November 25 goes back to 1960, when the Mirabal sisters, activists from the Dominican Republic, were violently assassinated for their political activism.

The sisters, known as the ‘Unforgettable Butterflies’ became a symbol of the crisis of violence against women in Latin America. November 25 was the date chosen to commemorate their lives and promote global recognition of gender-based violence. The day has been observed in Latin America since the 1980s.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence is an annual global campaign started in 1991 by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University in the United States, said a press release.

The campaign begins on November 25 and is focused on opposing all forms of violence’s against women. This is a national level campaign, which engages 400 national allies.

Currently, 144,000 volunteer men and women, who take a pledge to say no to violence, are working with the campaign to curb gender based discrimination and crimes against women.

According to details, more than 1,700 organisations in 130 countries have participated in the campaign.

“We need to do more to enforce laws and counter impunity,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the day. He said, “We need to combat attitudes and behaviours that condone, tolerate, excuse or ignore violence committed against women. And we need to increase funding for services for victims and survivors,” he said. He said violence against women was a problem of pandemic proportions. At least one out of every three women around the world had been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her, said a report.

Statistics paint a horrifying picture of the social and health consequences of violence against women. For women aged 15 to 44 years, violence is a major cause of death and disability.


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