The United Nations designated November 25th as A Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in the year 2000. Women's rights activists have acknowledged November 25th as a day against gender-based violence since 1981. This date was selected to honor the Mirabal sisters, three political activists from the Dominican Republic who were brutally murdered in 1960 by order of the country’s ruler, Rafael Trujillo.
United Nations Definition of Violence against Women and Girls
In general terms, Violence against women and girls (VAWG) manifests itself in physical, sexual and psychological forms, encompassing:
- intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide);
- sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment);
- human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation);
- female genital mutilation; and
- child marriage.
To further clarify, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
This observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is close to our mission at Global Hope 365 as we are committed to spreading awareness and saving lives through our advocacy work. Our advocacy work can be put into two categories; efforts to end Child Marriage and efforts to end Human Trafficking. Both Global Hope 365 initiatives are included in the UN definition of VAWG detailed above.
As advocates, we educate the public on the devastating sexual violence minors experience through the legal practice of Child Marriage and the illegal (but softly punished) human trafficking sex trade prevalent in California. It is shocking to many that child marriage is still legal in the state of California. It is also shocking to many, to learn of the very weak penalties for both buying and selling women and children for sex in the state of California. Global Hope 365 recommends these penalties are stiffened to deter the thriving business of Human Trafficking in California.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are comprehensive and ambitious global goals. However, the policy change that will support the achievement of the SDGs are the local policies that will protect girls and women for harm, such as a state bill to end Child Marriage in California. The United Nations said “Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as to the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights. All in all, the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - to leave no one behind - cannot be fulfilled without putting an end to violence against women and girls.”
Global Hope 365 will participate in the United Nations social media campaign on human rights which runs from November 25th, in honor of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and runs for sixteen days of activism that will conclude on December 10th, International Human Rights Day. Look for the hashtag #GenerationEquality.