Violence against women is a human rights violation and a consequence of discrimination against women, in law and also in practice, as well as of persisting inequalities between men and women. This violence impacts on, and impedes, progress in many areas, including poverty eradication, combating HIV/AIDS, and peace and security. However, violence against women and girls is not inevitable. Prevention is possible and essential.
Women's activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981. This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960, of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).
On 20 December 1993 the General Assembly, by resolution 48/104, adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.
In this context, in 1999 the United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize on that day activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem.
Launched in 2008, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign aims to raise public awareness and increase political will and resources for preventing and ending all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world.
The global vision of the UNiTE campaign is a world free from violence against all women and girls. This vision can only be realized through meaningful actions and ongoing political commitments of national governments, backed by adequate resources.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE campaign calls on all governments, civil society, women’s organizations, men, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing this global pandemic.
Through its advocacy initiatives at the global, regional and national levels, the UNiTE campaign is working to mobilize individuals and communities. In addition to supporting the longstanding efforts of women’s and civil society organizations, the campaign is actively engaging with men, young people, celebrities, artists, sports personalities, private sector and many more.
The 25th of every month has been designated “Orange Day” by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence Against Women, to raise awareness and take action to end violence against women and girls. As a bright and optimistic colour, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls. Orange Day calls upon civil society, governments, and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), but every month.