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Women protesting in Warsaw,

November, 25th 2020

Exactly twenty-one years ago, the United Nations Assembly declared November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The day was chosen as a tribute to the Mirabal sisters, Dominican activists who were murdered in their home country under Rafael Trujillo’s dictatorship in the ’60s.

Words By Hillary Ribeiro

“If they kill me… I’ll take my arms out of the grave and be stronger” -Minerva Mirabal

Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa Mirabal. These are the names we should remember. Affectionately known as ”Las Mariposas” (the butterflies), these sisters are honored on this day along with countless other victims of violence suffered by women from all backgrounds, all around the globe. November 25th aims to encourage us all to speak out on behalf of the women whose lives have been deeply marked by physical, sexual, and psychological abuse.

Over the years, Las Mariposas raised a powerful legacy built upon resistance, hope, and courage. It inspires us to reflect upon their unwavering commitment to fighting for a life free of violence. Decades have gone by since their assissination, yet a violence-free life is still a distant dream for many young girls and women around the world.

The Mirabal sisters,

According to official data statistics, the number of female victims of gender-based violence creeped up by 2,0% between 2018 and 2019. We should not be seeing an increase in today’s society. This amounts to a devastating 1 in 3 women experiencing physical or sexual abuse at some point in their lives. Such a fraction only reinforces the importance of raising awareness around the violent crimes that continue to prevent millions of young girls from leading a life of peace and dignity.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women promotes collective action in the form of sixteen days of activism against gender-based violence. This campaign seeks to encourage national and international governments to hold annual events to raise awareness. This issue is considered to be one of the most complex human rights challenges that, unfortunately, is far from being solved.

Now and throughout history,women have been silenced through femicide as a consequence of demanding basic human rights in society. But we cannot let the dust settle. We must continue to fight and break the silence by educating people on this global issue that perpetuates turmoil and suffering for many women, regardless of their age, ethnicity, or social status.