The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

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The United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, held annually on November 25 th , will mark an important day for human rights. Since 1999, this day has contributed to raising awareness for the elimination of violence against women. The UN considers the following as acts of violence against women femicide, early marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, cyberviolence, human trafficking, and slavery. Violence against women doesn’t only affect individual victims, it affects society at large. Families, economies, health care systems, environmental sustainability, and the fight against HIV/AIDS, are negatively impacted as a result of the continuation of violence against women (http://www.un.org/en/events/endviolenceday/2015/sgmessage.shtml).

November 25th marks not only the Day for The Elimination of Violence Against Women, but also, the beginning of the UN’s 16 Days of Activism for Gender-Based Violence. Ending on December 10th , Human Rights Day, these days are intended to raise awareness, and inspire global, social political and individual change. By linking the Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with Human Rights Day, the UN hopes to emphasize that violence against women is not just a women’s rights issues – it’s a human rights violation.

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The UN’s efforts to end violence against women doesn’t end with November 25th , and the 16 Days of Activism. The UN’s Secretary General’s UNiTE Campaign to End Violence Against Women’s 2016 campaign, “Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence Against Women” will take place during the 16 Days of Activism. It is an initiative intended to raise funds for the resources needed for global action and prevention efforts. More importantly, the campaign as recently declared the 25 th of every month as “Orange Day”, with the colour symbolizing a “brighter future without violence” (http://www.un.org/en/events/endviolenceday/).

On October 25, 2016, the most recent Orange Day, over 70 countries world wide held events to raise awareness for this cause. Some of the world’s most significant landmarks were lit-up in orange in support for this campaign. By declaring a day of each month as a day to recognize the need for the elimination of violence against women, the UN is reminding the world that we can’t confine social justice and human rights issues to simply one day a year.

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