In today’s world, violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations. This is the most extreme form of discrimination and of persisting inequalities between men and women. In order to raise awareness among people, the idea of an ‘international day’ came along.
Since 1981women's activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence. This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960, of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of the then Dominican ruler. On 20 December 1993 the General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.
In this backdrop, in 1999 the United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organise on that day activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem.
This year, the European Union and the United Nations have launched the Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls. Another initiative that has been helping to expose this scourge is the UNiTE to end violence against women initiative launched in 2008 by the then UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.
With an aim to mobilise people and create public awareness for bringing about a change in the status-quo, UNiTE leads the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign. These days go from 25th November to 10th December, which is Human Rights Day.
The theme of the campaign for 2017 is “Leave no one behind: end violence against women and girls.” This theme reinforces the UNiTE Campaign’s commitment to a world free from violence for all women and girls around the world.
One of the major challenges to efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls worldwide is the substantial funding shortfall. Frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals, which include a specific target on ending violence against women and girls, offer huge promise, but the same must be adequately funded in order to bring real and significant changes in the lives of women and girls. EU and UNiTE initiatives can therefore play a role in order to meet the funding shortfall by disseminating awareness among different stratum of people across the world.
Compiled by Law Desk (SOURCE: UN.ORG)