Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | 1,092 day ago

It's International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women, Here's Everything You Need To Know

The Debrief: It's depressing yet important – today's a day to think about the violence women suffer simply for being women...

You might have seen already on Twitter but today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Backed by the UN, it’s here to raise awareness of the ‘global pandemic’ of violence against women, which comes in a whole gruesome shopping list of crimes that are committed every day: domestic violence, rape, slavery, FGM and forced marriage.

Here’s your need-to-know on this depressing yet important day:

It’s today, November the 25th

This date was chosen because it marks the anniversary of when three sisters were assassinated for opposing the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. The Mirabal sisters were killed in 1960 in the Dominican Republic.

Women might not be as equal as men, but in some ways we’re as equal as each other. That’s not a good thing

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said that sexual and gender-based violence is the ‘most extreme form of global and systemic equality’. Yep, that doesn’t read right, but the fact that women all across the globe, from every single social strata, are subject to violence based on the fact they are women, actually unites us in a weird way: ‘It knows no geographic, socio-economic or cultural boundaries.’

‘Worldwide, one in three women will suffer physical or sexual violence at some point in her life, from rape and domestic violence to harassment at work and bullying on the internet.’

READ MORE: 16 Women Are Accusing Bill Cosby Of Sexual Assault. Here's Your Need-To-Know

It doesn’t seem to be getting loads better

2014 was the year 200 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped from their school and taken to be sold as sex slaves by Boko Haram, an extremist group that believes that women should not be educated. Girls in India have been gang-raped for daring to go to the toilet in places where there’s little sanitation. Women in Kenya are being publically stripped for wearing what they want to wear. Two women a week die in the UK as a result of domestic violence. The gender pay gap remains just about everywhere, women are catcalled, harassed and abused online every day.

But there is hope

Sorry, that got super depressing there. But it’s important to know that there is lots to do in the fight for equality, and that a lot is being done. This year, Angelina Jolie and William Hague helped get countries to sign up to a pact to say that they will not use rape as a weapon of war. Trolls were jailed for the abusive threats they sent to women. People who preach hatred against women under the guise of pick-up artists were pretty much taken off of the pedastals they’d been wrongly put onto. People across the world continued to mobilise against inequality.

READ MORE: The #MyDressMyChoice Campaign Is The Only Positive Thing About The Video Of A Woman Stripped For Wearing A Miniskirt Going Viral

We can all help

As Ban-Ki Moon put it, according to The Independent, ‘Everyone has a responsibility to prevent and end violence against women and girls, starting by challenging the culture of discrimination that allows it to continue.’

‘We must shatter negative gender stereotypes and attitudes, introduce and implement laws to prevent and end discrimination and exploitation, and stand up to abusive behaviour whenever we see it.’

Hopefully, this time next year, a lot more progress will be made.

You might also be interested in:

The #ThingsLongerThanOscarsSentence Hashtag Isn't Funny But It Could Be Important

#WhyIStayed And #WhyILeft Are Sobering But Important In Re-Adjusting Our Attitudes To Domestic Violence

'My Rapist Added Me On Facebook'. The Truth About Sexual Assault At Oxford University

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Picture: Eylul Aslan 

Tags: Sexual Assault, Sexism