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.

The Efua Dorkenoo Pan African Award for Reportage on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Win a Month of training at the Guardian in London

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and The Guardian are launching the Efua Dorkenoo Pan African Award for Reportage on FGM for journalists reporting on FGM across Africa. The award is intended to increase media awareness and engagement on FGM within community, national and regional media outlets and recognize and encourage outstanding efforts of journalists throughout Africa.

Eligibility

All articles and reports could be either of investigative or human-interest types; produced in Arabic, English or French; and should be printed or broadcast in Africa between 1 January and 31 December 2015. If the article or report was originally published in a local language, please provide a translated version of the article in Arabic, English or French.

To be eligible for the competition, the candidate must be:

  • A professional journalist working in or for print press (daily, weekly, monthly), radio or TV in Africa or a freelancer with proof of publication of commissioned material. Contest will be limited to journalists working for Africa-based news outlets
  • A national of an African country

Candidates can submit one of the following:

  • Print story, not exceeding 2,000 words
  • Radio report, from 4 to 15 minutes
  • TV report, from 4 to 15 minutes

Entries will be judged based on:

  • Compliance with above eligibility, topic and format conditions
  • Originality/creativity
  • Quality and relevance of data
  • Writing/reporting style
  • Respect for ethical guidelines
Submissions

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Submissions are to be judged by a panel of representatives from UNFPA, The Guardian, African media organizations and regional non-governmental organizations.

One finalist will be chosen from each of the three categories, and one overall winner will be chosen from among the three. The three names will be announced on 6 February 2016, International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM.

The overall winner will receive one month of training at the FGM Multimedia and Investigations Unit at The Guardian in London. All trip and living costs will be covered by the organizers.
Judges’ decisions on all matters are final and no correspondences will be entertained.
UNFPA/The Guardian reserve the right to change any terms and conditions of the contest without prior notice.

  • Submit your entry via email at fgmaward@unfpa.org Use “Pan African Award for FGM Reportage” as the subject header.
  • Include, in English, the following information: Full name, gender, nationality, date of birth, profession, employer (media outlet), country of work, e-mail address and phone number.
  • Provide a web link/print screen/scan/photocopy of the media piece featuring your name as a proof it was published/broadcast in print/online/TV in one of the African media between 1 January and 31 December 2015.
Enter by 4 January 2016 final deadline

For more information, click here.