International day for the elimination of violence against women: Relevance

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Photo Courtesy: Brno Daily

As designated by the UN General Assembly, 25th November is observed as the International Day for the elimination of violence against women every year. Crimes and violence against women is nothing new. It’s been there and only increasing day by day with no proper solution for prevention, whatsoever. Crimes like rape or murder happen, gets reported (60% of the time victims don’t report in fear), accused are taken into custody, the case goes round and round at the court, then the accused are released on bail. This is the scenario in most countries.

Now, the question is, will a certain day as this will actually make a difference? Let’s find out by exploring its theme for this year and what significance it holds.

November 25, 2020: The Theme

International Day for the elimination of violence against women will have a different theme this year. The headline says, “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”. The goal is to set up a campaign of “16 Days of Activism” just like the previous year. This campaign will end on Human Rights Day that is on December 10.

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Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!

During the Covid-19 pandemic, reports suggest that crimes against women, especially domestic violence have increased significantly. Due to the lockdown and less availability of help or support, most of the crimes went unreported (officially). However, thanks to the vocal activists and survivors, others are rising up to this crisis while raising their voices for the prevention of violence against women as well.

Now this movement will require more investment of both money and dedication of everyone involved. Here’s where this year’s campaign, “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!” comes in. During these 16 days of activism, UN Women will work simultaneously with activists, victims, and UN partners. It’s about encouraging people to read and share their own stories, get inspired, and how to take action in the hour of need.

November 25, 2020: Significance

From an infant to an old lady, no one is spared from this horrifying violence against this particular gender. It is the most disgusting yet widespread form of human rights violation which continues to further its limits. Crimes like,

  • Sexual violence and harassment including rape, forced sex, street harassment, sexual advances, child sexual abuse, cyber-harassment, stalking
  • Intimate partner violence like psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide
  • Human trafficking and sexual exploitation
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Child marriage

(Source: UN.ORG)

These can happen to anyone, anywhere, and anytime. The vulnerability can be terrifying during these times. However, the main goal of the international day for the elimination of violence against women is to empower them, encourage them, and help them to be vocal about themselves. It also asks people to join and help them in spreading awareness.

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Do Your Part

There are many ways we can join in this revolution. Through some simple gestures and actions, we can reach out to the victims who are facing the nightmare.

  • Listen to the victims, believe them, support them
  • Learn about harassment. Make yourself capable of understanding the signs. Take a stand right then and there against catcalling, inappropriate comments, and sexist jokes
  • Make sure to reach out for help. There are NGOs and Women empowerment groups to handle such scenarios
  • Encourage the survivors to ask for help. Make them understand, don’t rush
  • Educate your kids especially boys about violence against women. Teach them the concept of “CONSENT” from a young age
  • Those who have a backward mentality, make them understand that sobriety, the length of clothes, and the sexuality of the victim had nothing to do with the violence.
  • Make charitable donations to organizations that help in empowering women

On an international day for the elimination of violence against women this year, we are once again reminded that the fire has already started. The times are changing and there’s one thing to keep in mind: “YOU ARE NOT ALONE”!

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