Mauritius celebrates of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2020

Despite the adoption of the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) by the UN General Assembly in 1979, violence against women and girls remains a pervasive problem worldwide.

To that end, the General Assembly issued resolution 48/104, laying the foundation for the road towards a world free of gender-based violence. Another bold step in the right direction was embodied by an initiative launched in 2008 and known as the UNiTE to End Violence against Women. It aims to raise public awareness around the issue as well as increase both policymaking and resources dedicated to ending violence against women and girls worldwide.

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25 November 2019: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.

In general terms, it 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.
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Report: Family Protection including Gender-based Violence in Mauritius

Report by Nnenna Ihua, Researcher at YUVA

Family protection is an important aspect in any society because the family is a small unit and families make up the society. Happiness and peace including safety are determinants of a healthy society. In Mauritius, Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare is responsible for family protection including gender-based violence, domestic violence, child abuse, elderly abuse, family conflict and conflict among neighbours. Police Family Protection Unit (PFPU) was set up in 1994 with the aim of providing specific services to vulnerable in Mauritius. PFPU is decentralized on a regional basis with a special policing approach for its operation with some underlying principles such as welcoming phase, active listening, individualism, non-judgmental attitude, freedom of decision and confidentiality.

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25 November: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is an occasion for governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to raise public awareness of violence against women. It has been observed on November 25 each year since 2000.

What Do People Do?

Various activities are arranged around the world to draw attention to the need for continuing action to eliminate violence against women, projects to enable women and their children to escape violence and campaigns to educate people about the consequences of violence against women. Locally, women’s groups may organize rallies, communal meals, fundraising activities and present research on violence against women in their own communities.

An ongoing campaign that people are encouraged to participate in, especially around this time of the year when awareness levels for the day are high, is the “Say NO to Violence Against Women campaign”. Through the campaign, anyone can add their name to a growing movement of people who speak out to put a halt to human rights violations against women.

Public Life

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

On November 25, 1960, three sisters, Patria Mercedes Mirabal, María Argentina Minerva Mirabal and Antonia María Teresa Mirabal, were assassinated in the Dominican Republic on the orders of the Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo. The Mirabel sisters fought hard to end Trujillo’s dictatorship. Activists on women’s rights have observed a day against violence on the anniversary of the deaths of these three women since 1981.

On December 17, 1999, November 25 was designated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by the UN General Assembly. Each year observances around the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women concentrate on a particular theme, such as “Demanding Implementation, Challenging Obstacles” (2008).

Symbols

Events around the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women are coordinated by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). The logo of this organization consists of “UNIFEM”. The letters “U” and “N” are in blue and the letters “I”, “F”, “E” and “M” are in a darker shade of this color. An image of a dove surrounded by olive branches is to the right of the word. The image of the dove incorporates the international symbol for “woman” or “women”. This is based on the symbol for the planet Venus and consists of a ring on top of a “plus” sign.

Orange the World

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which will kick off a 16-day campaign of global activism until December 10, Human Rights Day, to halt the gross violation of women’s human rights affecting at least one in three women and girls worldwide.

The global initiative, Orange the World, End Violence Against Women and Girls, is led by UN Women on behalf of the UN Secretary General’s global campaign UNITE to End Violence Against Women.

The colour orange has been chosen for the issues to symbolise a brighter future without violence against women. During the 16 days of activism, events are being organised in all parts of the world, and landmarks in towns and cities will be lit up in orange to draw global attention to the issue and stimulate action.

YUVA encourages everyone to wear an orange item of clothing on November 25 to show their commitment to ending this pandemic which affects billions of women worldwide.

Facts and figures

* 35% of women and girls globally experience some form of physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime, with up to seven in 10 women facing this abuse in some countries.

* An estimated 133 million girls and women have experienced some form of female genital mutilation/cutting in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where this harmful practice is most common.

* Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children, 250 million of whom were married before the age of 15. Girls who marry before the age of 18 are less likely to complete their education and more likely to experience domestic violence and complications in childbirth.

* The costs and consequence of violence against women last for generations.