AU Observes Elimination of Violence Against Women Day

By Staff Reporter

End-sexual-violenceNovember 27, 2019 ( -- On November 25, 1960, the Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic were assassinated by henchmen of dictator Rafael Trujillo. The sisters, who had been active in movements against the Trujillo regime, were beaten and strangled to death and then placed in a Jeep that was driven off a mountainous road in order to make their deaths appear accidental.

In December 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Therefore, every year November 25 is celebrated to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and this year's theme is “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape”.

The day is celebrated to raise awareness among people that women have been and are subject to appalling incidents of rape, domestic violence, human trafficking, and slavery. This particular day is also celebrated to highlight the intensity, scale of the problems women suffer and to showcase that such incidents remain hidden from the world.

November 25 also marks the start of 16 days of activism (campaign on an international level to contest the violence against both women and girls) which ultimately concludes on December 10 that is with the commemoration of International Human Rights Day.

The 16 days activism was first started in 1991 by the first Women's Global Leadership Institute, held by the Center for Women's Global Leadership at the Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA. On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, UnitedNations (UN), African Union (AU) as well as all stakeholders call upon all States to close the gap between international and national laws on rape and sexual violence.

As part of 16 Days of Activism, various movements have also been witnessed to end violence against women and girls. The #MeToo Campaign is of those that voice against gender-based violence.

UN report stated that the persistence of widespread and systematic rape and other form of sexual violence against women and girls, even in nations that have proclaimed zero tolerance on violence against women, demonstrates that sexual violence is deeply entrenched in predominantly patriarchal societies.

Power and control continue to create a social environment whereby such violence is normalized, and gender-based stereotypes on the role of women in society undermine and devalue women.

Therefore these factors contribute to the unacceptable tolerance of rape, including within criminal justice systems, often resulting in impunity for perpetrators.

Remembering the day, the African Union Commission (AUC) is also hosting a discussion to observe the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.

The AUC compound was also switched with orange lights, which is the official color of the campaign, to represent an Africa that is free from violence against women and girls.

Ending violence against women as a key priority for the AU. Campaigns at continental, regional, national and community levels are considered as key and concrete enablers to achieve this objective.

Africa’s Agenda 2063 also commits AU Member States to end violence and discrimination against women and girls as well as to end all harmful social norms and customary practices that promote violence and discrimination against women and girls in Africa.

During the 16 Days Activism, the African Union through its Social Affair Commissioner will be committing itself to voice its support and commitment.

Commemorating the day through empowering women across the continent, Ezega News will bring an interview with the President for IGAD’s Women in Business, Ms. Engedaye Eshete, very soon.

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