At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten,
coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime — with the abuser
usually someone known to her. Violence against women and girls is a
universal problem of epidemic proportions. Perhaps the most pervasive
human rights violation that we know today, it devastates lives,
fractures communities, and stalls development.
- United Nations Development Fund for Women
Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Declared such by the UN General Assembly in 1999, today (November 25) is a day on which the UN, "Invites, as appropriate, Governments, the relevant agencies, bodies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system, and other international organizations and non-governmental organizations, to organize on that day activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem of violence against women."
November 25 was chosen as the designated day to recognize the myriad issues stemming from the fact that women continue to be victims of oppression and violence on a global scale (perhaps we need more than one day to think on this?) because it marks the he date of the brutal 1961 assassination of the three Mirabal
sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of
Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo.
Here is a list of some links I found with great information on this topic, the importance of which cannot be overstated. Please include your own links in the comments section so that we can all spread the word.
- Today's episode of the BBC's World Have Your Say, entitled "Why are women still under attack?"
- The UN Resolution declaring today International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (this is way more interesting than it sounds like it might be)
- The official UN homepage for issues of violence against women
- The UNFPA Ending Gender-based Violence site
- V-day, a great information site on violence against women
- The feminist.com anti-violence resource guide
While it is great that the UN has designated this day to recognize the severity of this issue, I am also interested to hear your thoughts. Is one day enough? Does an awareness campaign like this have much of an effect on the problems themselves? If not, what do you suggest?