International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2020: Current Theme, History and Significance
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2020: During the COVID-19 pandemic, emerging data and reports show that all types of violence against women and girls, mainly domestic violence has increased. As per the UN, this is often the Shadow Pandemic which is growing amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, at the global level, a collective effort should be taken to prevent it.
Across the globe, 243 million women and girls were abused by an intimate partner in the past year. And less than 40 percent of women who experience violence report it or seek help.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2020: Theme
The theme of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2020 is "Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!". The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign aimed toward preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls.
This year the day marks the launch of 16 days of activism which will conclude on 10 December, 2020 which is that the International Human Rights Day.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: History
In 1979, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) but still, violence against women and girls remains a general problem. For this, the General Assembly issued a resolution 48/104 and laid the foundation for the road towards a world free of gender-based violence.
In 2008, another step taken in the right direction was the UNiTE to End Violence against Women. The target is to spread public awareness about the issue as well as increase both policymaking and resources dedicated to end violence against women and girls across the globe.
Since 1981, Women's right activist have observed 25 November as a day against gender-based violence. The reason behind selecting this date was to honour the Mirabai sisters, three political activists from the Dominican Republic who were brutally murdered in 1960 by order of the country’s ruler, Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).
The General Assembly on 20 December, 1993 adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women through resolution 48/104 and pave the path towards eradicating violence against women and girls worldwide.
Finally, the General Assembly on 7 February, 2000 adopted the resolution 54/134 officially and designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: Significance
The objective behind celebrating the day is to eliminate and prevent violence against women and girls. The day also targets to take action worldwide to bridge the funding gaps and to ensure the essential services for the survivors of violence during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The day also focuses on preventing and collecting data that can improve life-saving services for women and girls.
In the world, violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread and devastating human rights violations which largely remains unreported due to the silence, stigma, and shame surrounding it.
As per the UN, in general terms it manifests itself in physical, sexual, and psychological forms;
- intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide);
- sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber-harassment);
- human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation);
- female genital mutilation; and
- child marriage.
According to the UN,
- About sexual relations, contraceptive use, and health care, only 52% of the married women or in a union freely make their own decisions.
- 1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime and most frequently by an intimate partner.
- Emerging data have shown that the cases of domestic violence in several countries have increased since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Around 71% of all human trafficking victims across the world are women and girls and three out of four of these women and girls are sexually exploited.