The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women took place on November 25th, and that date also marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence which ends on December 10th. The November 25th date was chosen to commemorate the assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s who were murdered during the Trujillo dictatorship. Their story is told in the documentary Code Name: Butterflies, and you can see the subtitled trailer for the movie in the following clip:
Witness’ The Hub has also joined the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Violence and have featured the following video produced by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. It is titled Rise, and portrays the “lives of Afghans following the recent American-led military campaign”.
The Hub will be posting more related videos throughout the week.
On this video from Colombia, Compromiso Medios interviews several women who speak about their stories regarding gender based violence. They speak about being displaced and losing all of their belongings, of losing family due to violence, of heading homes and working in unequal conditions and domestic violence. One of the women explains how she lived for 17 years in an abusive relationship, and before the laws against domestic violence were passed she was unable to press charges since she needed witnesses willing to publicly denounce the aggressor. After the law was passed she was able to present physical evidence in the form of the bruises and injuries and part from her partner to rear her 3 children on her own. The video is in Spanish:
People express their support for this global initiative to stop the violence against women in many different ways. In Mexico, for example, a bike ride during the evening was organized as a way to raise awareness on the Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women:
In Paraguay, women held a candle lit vigil for the Paraguayan justice system which gave a 7 year prison sentence to 23 year old medical school student Zully Samudio for killing an alleged rapist in her apartment back in 2007, due to the inability to prove that the rape would take place and that the weapon was the attacker's or the victim's.
However as of now, she has been released so that she can appeal and retrial in liberty. In an interview[es] after the sentence, she bitterly stated that women should just let themselves be raped, because the year and 2 months she had to spend in prison during the trial process where worse than rape, she also commented that she believes the trial was arranged, since the deceased was the son of a former police chief and people mentioned that the results were already known even before the trial.
Another important date coming up is the World AIDS Day, and in the following video, Mariama Banda from Women Won't Wait Coalition in Zambia speaks about the relation between Violence Against Women and HIV & AIDS.
For more information on the World AIDS Day, we have a Special Coverage page with articles on the subject as well as a map where we point out towards bloggers around the world who are writing about living with HIV/AIDS.