Violence Against Women Campaign ’09

Nov 27, 2009 at 09:51 AM
From 25 November to 10 December, WFF joins with other rights organizations worldwide to bring greater attention to violence against women and calls for 16 days of activism.

History – Background:

Women’s activists have marked November 25 as a day against violence since 1981.

On December 17, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25 (the anniversary of the day of the murder of the Mirabal sisters) as the annual date for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in commemoration of the sisters. (Resolution 54/134).

This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960, of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961). After the assasination of these 3 women, a revolution started from the village which then made Rafeal Trujillo turn over his power and resign by giving it to his brother.

This day also marks the beginning of the 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence.

This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.The end of the 16 Days is December 10, International Human Rights Day.

Women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence, and the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden.

News on victims of violence against women

Global Statistics

Sexual violence against women and girls

  • An estimated 150 million girls under 18 suffered some form of sexual violence in 2002 alone.
  • At least 60 million girls who would otherwise be expected to be alive are “missing” from various populations, mostly in Asia, as a result of sex-selective abortions, infanticide or neglect. (UN Study On The Status of Women, Year 2000)
  • Globally, at least one in three women and girls is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. (UN Commission on the Status of Women, 2/28/00)
  • A 2005 World Health Organization study reported that nearly one third of Ethiopian women had been physically forced by a partner to have sex against their will within the 12 months prior to the study. (WHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence Against Women, 2005)

Rape as a method of warfare

  • Approximately 250,000 to 500,000 women and girls were raped in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
  • In eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, at least 200,000 cases of sexual violence, mostly involving women and girls, have been documented since 1996, though the actual numbers are considered to be much higher.


Trafficking and sex trade:

  • 4 million women and girls are trafficked annually. (United Nations)
  • An estimated one million children, mostly girls, enter the sex trade each year (UNICEF)

4 million women and girls are trafficked annually. (United Nations)Honor Killings:

  • So-called “honour killings” take the lives of thousands of young women every year, mainly in North Africa, Western Asia and parts of South Asia. (UNFPA)
  • The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported that 2002 saw a 25% increase in “honor killings” of women, with 461 women murdered by family members in 2002, in 2 provinces (Sindh and Punjab) alone. (Pakistan Human Rights Commission, 2002)


Harmful practices

  • Approximately 100 to 140 million girls and women in the world have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting, with more than 3 million girls in Africa annually at risk of the practice.
  • More than 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18, primarily in South Asia (31.1 million) and sub-Saharan Africa (14.1 million).


Femicide – the murder of women because they are women

  • In South Africa, a woman is killed every 6 hours by an intimate partner.
  • In India, 22 women were killed each day in dowry-related murders in 2007.
  • In Guatemala, two women are murdered, on average, each day.

16 forms of gender based violence:

  1. Sexual violence as a weapon of war
  2. Pre-natal sex selection
  3. Female genital mutilation/cutting
  4. Date rape
  5. Bride burning or other forms of dowry-related violence
  6. Child marriage
  7. Trafficking of girls and women
  8. Domestic violence
  9. Crimes committed in the name of passion or honour
  10. Abductions of adolescent girls during combat
  11. Bride kidnapping
  12. Sexual harassment at work
  13. Physical or emotional violence by an intimate partner
  14. Exploitation of domestic workers
  15. Femicide
  16. Forced sterilization or other coercive reproductive practices


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