Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. In some countries, up to 7 in 10 women will be beaten, raped, abused or mutilated in their lifetimes.
- Violence against women is a human rights violation
- Violence against women is a consequence of discrimination against women, in law and also in practice, and of persisting inequalities between men and women
- Violence against women impacts on, and impedes, progress in many areas, including poverty eradication, combating HIV/AIDS, and peace and security
- Violence against women and girls is not inevitable. Prevention is possible and essential
The United Nations eneral Assembly has designated 25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and has invited governments, international organisations and NGOs to organise on that day activities designated to raise public awareness on the problem (resolution 54/134 of 17 December 1999).
Women's activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981. The date came from the brutal 1961 assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo.
In South Africa, 25 November is also the starting day of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children.