25. November: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

A Dossier by CPPD-Member Nina Prader

Why do we need a reminder for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women? Because violence against people, identifying as women and as grrrls is a global phenomenon and a human rights issue!

It would seem the term “woman” is outdated in some circles and perhaps “FLINTA” is appropriate nowadays. However, as long as there are fundamental human rights issues happening, we need to call attention to the fact that globally 1 in 3 people, identifying as a woman is affected by violence. Gender-based violence is harm against a person or group of people because of their factual or perceived sex, gender, sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This includes domestic violence, sexual and physical violence—assault, rape, murder—but is not limited to access to public life such as education, workplace, healthcare, and finances. We have seen a global backlash in people’s rights, identifying as women: from the books we read to the clothes we wear, to the choices we make about our bodies and reproductive health, to seats at the table.

Historically, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25th to amplify awareness for the magnitude is played down. This date recognizes the Mirabal Sisters (Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa) who opposed the Trujillo dictatorship and were murdered for their resistance, in the Dominican Republic.

People still do not feel safe and are blamed for the violence inflicted by patriarchy—though #Metoo has changed the conversation on consent and accountability in some parts of the world. It is a fact that most violence is perpetrated by cis men. To this day, deciding to be in a heterosexual relationship might be one of the most dangerous decisions a person identifying as a woman makes. The pandemic has seen a spike in feminicide in Austria; in America, the overturn of Roe vs. Wade deeply impacted choice and access to gender-affirming care; in Iran, people are murdered for liberation; in Afghanistan, girls are denied access to education and public life; in France, the abaya-dress ban, in Germany, struggles for gender-equal language.

This violence has nothing to do with personhood but is made a person’s problem by toxic male privilege in the private to the public sector. Next to helplines and safe houses for women, some countries now have lines to call in for men and provide therapy. If you identify as a cis hetero man and you are struggling to control or verbalize your emotions and/or bodily functions. Ask for help! A peaceful society depends on it.

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I attended several academic conferences on interreligious dialogue in the past, but I've never found a group like the one of DialoguePerspectives, that perfectly matches secularism with religions.

Eleonora, DialoguePerspectives participant

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