Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. In some countries, up to 7 in 10 women will be beaten, raped, abused or mutilated in their lifetimes. To raise awareness and trigger action to end this global phenomenon, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), and the ensuing 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence are commemorated every year around the world.
Women's activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981. This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960, of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).
In December 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 organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem on that day.
Last year for 25 November, UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet unveiled a 16-Step Policy Agenda. This year, UN Women launches "COMMIT" – a new global initiative which calls on leaders worldwide to fulfill their promise and take a stand to end violence against women and girls. It will showcase concrete national commitments to ending the scourge of such violence.
Ending violence against women will be the main theme of the forthcoming 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, to take place from 4-15 March 2013 in New York. The international gathering where countries report on their country's progress on women's rights and gender equality will focus on prevention and multi-sectoral responses to violence against women and girls.
On 28 November, UNiTE will host an invitation-only event in New York to mark the anniversary of the International Day to End Violence against Women. It will be webcast live, from 21:15 to 22:15 CET.
2011 European Ad Competition
In 2011 we partnered with United Nations Information Centre's around Europe, UN Women, and the Secretary-General's UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaign to ask Europeans to create an ad to be published in newspapers, saying: "No to Violence Against Women" (www.create4theUN.eu).
Over 2,700 entries from 40 European countries were submitted to the competition.
Trine Sejthen, a designer and photographer from Denmark, won the competition with her ad: "Violence is not always visible".
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, Block C2,7th and 8th floor, Brussels 1040, Belgium
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