The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women aims to raise awareness and make visible the forms of violence (physical, sexual and psychological) that can occur against women and girls: violence by a sentimental partner (physical violence, psychological abuse, rape marital, femicide); sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, stalking, street harassment, cyber bullying); trafficking in human beings (slavery, sexual exploitation); genital mutilation, and child marriage.
Why is it celebrated on November 25?
Since 1981 , November 25 has been taken as a day of protest and commemoration against gender violence to honor the memory of the Mirabal sisters , three political activists from the Dominican Republic who were brutally murdered in 1960 by order of the Dominican ruler, Rafael Trujillo ( 1930-1961).
On December 20, 1993, the General Assembly approved the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women through resolution 48/104. And already on February 7, 2000, the Assembly adopted resolution 54/134, designating November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and inviting governments, international organizations and NGOs to take action on the matter. and coordinate activities that raise this issue to public awareness.
In 2009 UN Women launched the “Say no. Join ”, designating the 25th of each month as “ Orange Day ” . This initiative aims to mobilize society to broaden the impact of the Secretary-General’s campaign, “Join to End Violence Against Women.” Participants are encouraged to wear something orange to show solidarity with the campaign, as it symbolizes a better future and a world free of violence against women and girls.
The theme of the 2018 campaign is “Paint the world in orange: #Listen to me too” and like previous editions, the date marks the launch of the 16 days of activism, which conclude on December 10, 2018 coinciding with Human Rights Day . It is possible to participate through social networks through the hashtags: # DíaNaranja , #OrangeTheWorld and # EscúchameTa Also .
What can we do in our day to day?
In addition to participating in initiatives against violence against women and giving visibility to this day through social networks, we echo the ideas proposed by Zeneida Bernabé, political scientist expert in gender equality and coach specialist in the management of suffering. “Psychological, sexual or physical violence against women and girls is the most serious and evident, but it is not the only one. We women also suffer social, political and economic violence. (role of housewife, greater participation in the education of sons and daughters, less political representation, less visibility and recognition in the professional and artistic field, lower wages, higher index of economic poverty, less time for leisure. .etc) ”, he explains. In this situation, the gender equality expert proposes these peaceful ideas and accompanies them with the following reflections:
- Read feminist theorists. You will be able to discover the roots of patriarchy and machismo and its connection with capitalism. You will know that masculinity and femininity is a social construction that we learn from childhood through the socialization process. And therefore, that gender stereotypes, roles and mandates (the different way we have to behave in society if you are a man or a woman) is not something innate, but something that we learn, and therefore, we can change it .
You will learn about progress made thanks to the struggle of feminist women from which we benefit today. You will know how racism, sexism and homophobia, lesbophobia and transphobia are interconnected. You will understand that sexual violence is not about sex, but about control and power. You will be aware that violence against women and girls is widespread for black, white, rich, poor, young, old, educated or illiterate women.
- Be aware of your beliefs, of your way of seeing the world. Beliefs about what it is to be a man and a woman or how men and women should behave determine whether you will behave sexist or not. Macho violence draws from a set of beliefs. In a study, rapists who thought about their victims were asked: “All women like to be raped”, “Women are not to be believed”, “They provoke, they are looking for it”. Thinking that way for them rape is justified.
Men are also thought to be unable to control their sexual instincts, but scientific evidence has denied this. Looking inside to be aware of the beliefs we hold is an act of courage and a decisive step to begin to change the way we relate. In our day to day we normalize situations that are macho and we do not see them. One way to look at them is to turn them around: Would you think the same about this if you were a man?
- Change your attitudes. By changing the way we see the world by putting on the “purple glasses”, we are also changing the way we act. Thus we respect more and embrace diversity. We do not follow jokes or macho or homophobic jokes. We stop listening to misogynistic, violent or sexist music. We believe in victims of sexist violence, we empathize with them, we respect and support them.
- We educate our children in values of equality, equating roles in the family. We show them that saying “no” is a right. We teach them that violence is not a tool to solve conflicts or to get away with it, and we behave by example. We question gender roles and stereotypes. We treat others as we would like to be treated. You stop using sexist language and replace it with inclusive language.
- Denounce discriminatory or violent laws and conduct. You denounce any type of discrimination or violence towards yourself or others, you support those people who denounce and participate in debates and acts related to the end of violence against women and girls.
- Claim the rights of women and girls. You demand equality for everyone; You support positive discrimination initiatives, promote coeducation initiatives in schools with a focus on eliminating gender stereotypes and discrimination against girls, and demand that an adequate budget be dedicated so that the equality plans of municipalities and cities are effective and have an impact.