Women’s rights activists have observed 25 November as a day against gender-based violence since 1981. This date was selected to honour 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 (1930-1961).
On 20 December 1993, the General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women through resolution 48/104, paving the path towards eradicating violence against women and girls worldwide.
Finally, on 7 February 2000, the General Assembly adopts resolution 54/134, officially designating 25 November as the International day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and in doing so, inviting governments, international organizations as well as NGOs to join together and organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the issue every year on that date.
The Shadow Pandemic
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, emerging data and reports from those on the front lines, have shown that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has intensified.
This is the Shadow Pandemic growing amidst the COVID-19 crisis and we need a global collective effort to stop it. As COVID-19 cases continue to strain health services, essential services, such as domestic violence shelters and helplines, have reached capacity. More needs to be done to prioritize addressing violence against women in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
UN Women provides up-to-date information and support to vital programmes to fight the Shadow Pandemic of violence against women during COVID-19.