We are no longer afraid: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Today, November 25th, marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. 

Woman looking out the window of a bus.

Woman looking out the window of a bus. / Photo: Rawpixel - Reference Image

LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Báez

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Leer en español: Ya no tenemos miedo: Día Internacional para la Eliminación de la Violencia contra la Mujer

As read on UN, violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread human rights violations in the world today. Even though we have come a long way, impunity, silence, and stigmatization around this crime is still common. 

The Declaration on the elimination of violence against women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of violence that has or may result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering for women, as well as threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether they occur in public life or in private life.” 

The theme for this year´s campaign is “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape!” from today until December the 10th, multiple events will take place worldwide to raise awareness about rape and urge actions to end with this crime that impacts one in three women all over the world. 

UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said: “Rape isn’t an isolated brief act. It can have life-changing, unchosen effects—a pregnancy or a sexually-transmitted disease, immense trauma and an unwarranted sense of shame. In both conflict and in peacetime, it often shapes women’s decisions to move from their communities through fear of attack or the stigmatization of survivors. If I could have one wish granted, it might well be a total end to rape.”

UN women has published a list of the ways in which you can stand up against rape culture. Here are five we consider very important: 

1. Create a culture of consent. Remember that no means no. 
2. Stop victim blaming. Leave behind the language that blames the victim, because “she was dressing like a slut” does not mean that “she was asking for it”. 
3. Take an intersectional approach: as UN women states, sexual orientation, disability status or ethnicity, and some contextual factors are characteristics that increase women’s vulnerability to violence that we have to take into account when talking about rape. 
4. Invest in women: look for organizations that empower women and support survivors and donate to them.
5. End impunity: prosecuting sexual violence cases is important to end rape culture, so fight for justice and have zero tolerance.

Also read:Nicaragua's crisis: Is the end of Daniel Ortega approaching?

#25N. Latin-American women take over the streets

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the mobilization will start at 5PM and will go from the Bolivian embassy to Plaza de Mayo. As read on Infobae, women are fighting against all kind of violence and for those women who have been victims of abuse in Bolivia and Chile. They are also urging the implementation of the protocol for the comprehensive care of people entitled to legal termination of pregnancy, which was updated in 2019 and annulled by the national government. 

In Santiago de Chile, as read on Publimentro, women will meet in Plaza Italia, renamed "Plaza de la Dignididad" by the social movement, and move forward in a peaceful march to the monument "Mujeres en la memoria", located in Los Heroes. This year the main goal is to denounce the patriarchal violence and to make clear that no politic agreement is possible withouth women. 

In Bogotá, Colombia, women will meet at the Parque Nacional and will walk together to the Plaza de la Hoja. Regarding the current situation in Colombia, in which thousands of people have mobilized against the current government, feminist organizations were very clear in saying that although they understand that it is a critical moment for the country, their struggle cannot be used by any politician, because women have many specific demands for the government that have not been reflected by the protestants.