Every year, millions of women face violence in many forms. According to a report on the United Nations’ website, worldwide, an estimated 736 million women — almost one in three — have been subjected to physical or sexual private partner violence, experienced non-partner sexual violence, or endured both at least once in their lifetimes.
As we honor the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, let’s explore ways and collective responsibility needed to create a safer, more equitable future for African American women.
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Overview of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
Ending Violence Against Women’s Day, also known as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, is a global event marked yearly on 25 November. Generally, it’s an event used to draw the attention of the world to the violence faced by women globally and the urgent need to address the issue.
The celebration is a transformational movement that empowers communities and individuals to say no to all forms of violence, including:
- Sexual assault
- Domestic violence
- Other practices that are harmful to women
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How Did International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Start?
The celebration’s official recognition can be traced back to the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991. During the event, activists came up with the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” campaign initiative. The campaign starts on 25 November and ends on 10 December, which is Human Rights Day.
The Mirabal sisters were vitally involved in the campaign. They were fearless political activists from the Dominican Republic who fought against dictator Rafael Trujillo in the mid-20th century.
Trujillo’s regime was full of violence, especially towards women. However, the Mirabal sisters constantly resisted the dictatorship’s oppressive tactics. Unfortunately, Trujillo’s henchmen assassinated them on 25 November 1960.
However, their death drew more international communities’ attention to the violence and oppression faced by women in the Dominican Republic and beyond. And in honor of the Mirabal sisters, November 25 was later announced as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. To learn more about the Mirabal sisters, get these books from Amazon.
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Ways African Americans Can Help Prevent Gender-Based Violence
Violence against women is a globally pressing issue that needs urgent attention. However, if we all contribute our quota, we can create a safe environment for women to live and thrive. Here are four ways African Americans can support women.
Create Economic Opportunities for Women
When women access good economic opportunities, their status and values increase in their communities and households. However, when women depend on others for survival, they’re maltreated and they feel worthless.
Women everywhere require safety at work and freedom from sexual harassment to generate income. Here are some amazing guides on Amazon on how to empower women economically.
Include Women in Decision Making
Women are usually excluded in decision-making at home, offices, and places of worship. But that shouldn’t be the case. Women have a lot to contribute to making our communities a better place.
They need to be listened to and their contributions have to be considered and implemented so long as it makes sense. We need to create more equitable leadership in our homes, places of work, and worship centers.
There are many campaigns against gender-based violence, including the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Participate and support these campaigns and initiatives.
Most times, supporting these campaigns doesn’t require funds. You can get involved by simply raising awareness about it. With social media, you can easily share informative content, start conversations, and educate about gender-based violence.
You can also connect with local organizations in your locality that are fighting against gender-based violence and volunteer your time or offer financial support.
Humanitarian agencies and the government need to be held responsible for their commitment to fight against gender-based violence. They need to be more open about how they’re spending to support the safety and well-being of women, including those facing discrimination based on their age, sexuality, or ethnicity.
So, African Americans should raise this with decision-makers and politicians. Additionally, we need to call on the government to increase funding for initiatives that end violence against women.
The fight against gender-based violence is a serious one that needs urgent attention. You can contribute towards this fight by supporting the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Raising awareness and educating people about the campaign are how to support the initiative. Additionally, you can even buy branded t-shirts from Amazon to mark this event.
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