November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. But why this date in particular? This date wasn’t chosen randomly, it all started with the story of three sisters Patria, Minerva and María Teresa Mirabal, also known as Mirabal Sisters or The Butterflies. 

They were brutally killed in 1960 by Dominican Republic’s brutal dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, for being an active part in several activities against his regime and what he represented. These three sisters and their horrible death symbolize women’s fight against violence. Minerva once dismissed her allies’ fears for her life, saying “If they kill me, I’ll reach my arms out from the tomb and I’ll be stronger.” And so she did, because that was just the beginning not only their death was the straw that broke the camel’s back on the Dominican people, but the world.

By the time of their death they were 36, 34 and 25, but their just a case of violence in thousands of cases. That’s why this day exists to raise awareness in, according to United Nations, “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

One of the most persistent human rights violations today is violence against women and it is unreported because of shame, fear, silence and impunity. Violence can manifest in physical, sexual and psychological forms including intimate partner violence, sexual violence and harassment, human trafficking, child marriage and female genital mutilation.

Not only November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, but it’s the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, which ends on December 10th, International Human Rights Day. This international campaign has been active since 1991 and was launched by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It encourages the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence against women, to show the solidarity of women all around the globe and so much more.