international day for the elimination of violence against women

The campaign #vivanlasmujeres is a demand by Amnesty International to stop gender violence and femicide. In Mexico a woman is raped every 4 minutes, 7 women are killed DAILY. In average 6 out of 10 women are victims of some kind of violence at their work, school, community and home. 

70 women artists and writers have worked on a piece for an exhibition that opens today, (day the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) in the hallways of metro Tacubaya in Mexico City. I am very happy to be part of this important project but also very saddened and angry at this ongoing crisis which is often overlooked.

This exhibition was organized by Clarisa Moura and Abril Castillo.


Yesterday, our prime minister’s wife, self descibed gender equality activist Sophie Grégoire Trudeau made a post about Internation Women’s Day (which is today, by the way if you didn’t mark your calendar.) But instead of using her platform to celebrate important women, or bring attention to gender inequality, her Instagram post encouraged us all to “celebrate the boys and men in our lives who encourage us to be who we truly are, who treat girls & women with respect” and I just want to say- that is utter bullshit.

Boys and men do not deserve praise for treating women like human beings. That is the absolute bare minimum. I refuse to give out cookies because a man doesn’t call me a bitch or speak out against my rights. I don’t get applauded when I’m nice to men, it’s expected of me, and it should be expected of them as well. Are we going to spend International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women praising men who don’t abuse the women in their lives? No, that would be ridiculous. So why spend a day that’s supposed to be about supporting and uplifting women talking about how nice men are?

Feminism and women’s rights are not about getting men to agree or support what we’re fighting for. It’d be nice if they did, because again, we’re people and we should be treated as such, but that is not what the movement is about, almost the opposite really. What we are saying does not need to be approved or backed up by men in order to be important or relevant. That is a major part of what we’re fighting for. Our voices are just as important as men’s voices. Why would we dedicate so much time to making men support us, when we’re fighting to not need a man in order to be heard? Our rights should be considered important issues because they are important issues, and because we say they are, not because a man says that they are.

International Women’s Day is one of the very few days in the year that is solely about women. We spend the majority of the 365 days talking about and priasing mediocre men, why should we spend today doing it as well? I’m greatful for the men in my life who respect me, and who support my right to have, well, rights, but I shouldn’t have to be so greatful for that. I’m a person, just like they are. I refuse to give praise for something that should be a given. 

I am going to spend today talking about extraordinary women, how far we’ve come, and what’s left to do. I am going to dedicate as little of today to men as I can. If Sophie Grégoire Trudeau wants to center her feminism around men, no one can stop her, but really no one else should follow her example. I really hope that the criticism she gets today will open her eyes to how fucked up it is to prioritize men in a women’s rights movement. And on that note, happy International Women’s Day.

Politically Active

[The Mirabal Sisters: Patria, María Argentina Minerva and Antonia María Teresa. Sisters from the Dominican Republic who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo through “clandestine activities against his regime”. The Mirabal sisters were assassinated in 1960. In 1999 “the sisters received recognition by the United Nations General Assembly, who designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in their honor.” (Wikipedia)]

Today in history: November 25, 1960 - The Mirabal Sisters (Hermanas Mirabal) assassinated by state agents in the Domincan Republic. 

They were Patria Mercedes Mirabal, Bélgica Adela Mirabal-Reyes, María Argentina Minerva Mirabal, and Antonia María Teresa Mirabal, Dominican women who struggled to end Trujillo’s 30-year rule in the Dominican Republic. They helped form what became the June 14th Revolutionary Movement to oppose the Trujillo regime. Within the group, the Mirabals called themselves Las Mariposas (The Butterflies), after Minerva’s underground name. 

On November 25, 1960, three of the sisters were assassinated on Trujillo’s orders. The Mirabal sisters were the subject of Dominican-American author Julia Álvarez’s 1994 novel In the Time of the Butterflies, a fictionalized account of their lives, which was also made into a movie. In 1999, November 25 was designated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in their honor.

Via Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back!)

Dede Mirabal, the last surviving Mirabal sister, passed away early this month. May she rest in peace knowing that her life and the sacrifice of her sisters have empowered so many. 

¡Que vivan (todas) Las Mariposas!

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Patria, Dede, Minerva, and Maria Teresa–las Hermanas Mirabal– were four public political dissidents who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. They actively organized against one of the most oppressive and bloodthirsty regimes the Americas had ever seen. All but Dede were assassinated in 1960 and the day of their murders, November 25th, stands as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. 

For years, Doña Dede cared for a museum honoring her sisters and their memory in the Salcedo Province. She also raised her sisters’ orphaned children. 

She lived to tell the story and it’s one that is a testament to how strong women are. 

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Happy Women’s Equality Day!

We still have such a long way to go, but on the day that marks the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed suffrage to American women, I’d like to take another moment to celebrate women who have and still are advocating for equality.

Sojourner Truth (born Isabella “Bell” Baumfree, 1797-26 November 1883)

Was an abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, in 1828 she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man.She gave herself the name Sojourner Truth in 1843. Her best-known speech was delivered extemporaneously, in 1851, at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. The speech became widely known during the Civil War by the title “Ain’t I a Woman?,” a variation of the original speech re-written by someone else using a stereotypical Southern dialect; whereas Sojourner Truth was from New York and grew up speaking Dutch as her first language. During the Civil War, Truth helped recruit black troops for the Union Army; after the war, she tried unsuccessfully to secure land grants from the federal government for former slaves.In 2014, Truth was included in Smithsonian magazine’s list of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time”.

Simone de Beauvoir (born Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, 9 January 1908-14 April 1986)

Was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist and social theorist. Though she did not consider herself a philosopher, she had a significant influence on both feminist existentialism and feminist theory.

De Beauvoir wrote novels, essays, biographies, autobiography and monographs on philosophy, politics and social issues. She is known for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women’s oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism; and for her novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins.

Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan (born Rania Al-Yassin, 31 August 1970- )

Is the Queen consort of Jordan. Since marrying the now King of Jordan, Abdullah bin al-Hussein, she has become known for her advocacy work related to education, health, community empowerment, youth, cross-cultural dialogue, and micro-finance. She is also an avid user of social media and she maintains pages on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. She has two daughters and two sons and has been given various decorations by governments.

Angela Davis (born Angela Yvonne Davis, 26 January 1944- )

Is an American political activist, academic scholar, and author. She emerged as a prominent counterculture activist and radical in the 1960s as a leader of the Communist Party USA, and had close relations with the Black Panther Party through her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Her interests include prisoner rights; she co-founded Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex. She was a professor (now retired) at the University of California, Santa Cruz. in its History of Consciousness Department and a former director of the university’s Feminist Studies department.

Davis was prosecuted for conspiracy involving the 1970 armed take-over of a Marin County, California, courtroom, in which four persons were killed. She was acquitted in a federal trial.

Her research interests are feminism, African-American studies, critical theory, Marxism, popular music, social consciousness, and the philosophy and history of punishment and prisons. Her membership in the Communist Party led to Ronald Reagan’s request in 1969 to have her barred from teaching at any university in the State of California. She was twice a candidate for Vice President on the Communist Party USA ticket during the 1980s. 

Emmeline Pankhurst (born Emmeline Goulden, 15 July 1858-14 June 1928)

Was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. In 1999 Time named Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating: “she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back." She was widely criticised for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness, but her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women’s suffrage in Britain.

The Mirabal Sisters, Hermanas Mirabal 

(Patria Mercedes Mirabal Reyes 27 February 1924-25 November 1960, Maria Argentina Minerva Mirabal Reyes 12 March 1926-25 November 1960, Antonia Maria Teresa Mirabal Reyes 15 October 1935-25 November 1960, Belgica Adela Mirabal Reyes 1 March 1925-1 February 2014)

Were four Dominican sisters who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo and were involved in clandestine activities against his regime. Three of the sisters were assassinated on 25 November 1960. The assassinations turned the Mirabal sisters into "symbols of both popular and feminist resistance”.

In 1999, in the sisters’ honor, the United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. 

On November 25th(tuesday), International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, protestants went to the Assembléia Legislativa, downtown, to remind us of something that is in our everyday culture. Every 4 minutes a woman is raped in Brazil. Abuse is masked from street harassment being called praising, to mainstream victim blaiming speeches.
This daily fight still has a long way to go, and it should be everyone’s fight.

Why we're somber but hopeful today

Today, Wednesday November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

It’s a good moment to examine the breathtaking scope of the problem. An estimated 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced violence at some point in their lives. Rape continues to be prevalent worldwide, and is often used as a weapon of war and as a tool to silence women. And transgender and gender nonconforming people face disproportionately high levels of violence. Forced pregnancy, a form of violence against women and girls, has especially harmful consequences on young adolescents, as detailed in a new report called “Stolen Lives”. And compounding such violence against women in countries around the world is a a U.S. policy called the Helms Amendment.

While global challenges clearly remain, advocates around the world are pushing for change to create the world we want. As part of the global community, we have a shared mission in fighting for reproductive rights no matter where a woman lives, especially for the most vulnerable communities. Broadly there has been global progress in expanding reproductive rights, with recent liberalization of abortion laws in Colombia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Nepal. And in the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals, countries all over the world reiterated their commitment to ensuring that all women and young people have the information and resources to decide their own future — and made clear that reproductive health and rights is central in this vision. We need to hold governments accountable to delivering on this commitment. And at a time when opponents of women’s health in the U.S. are trying to limit access and erode these rights at home and export these values abroad, we need to redouble our commitment to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights everywhere.

This picture was taken at the marcha contra la violencia contra la mujer, in Lima, PE. In 1960, November 25 was declared the international day for the Elimination of Violence against Women after the assasination of the three Mirabel sisters, political activists from the Dominican Republic.

Seamos el grito de las que no tienen voz.

NI UNA menos
NO al femicidio
Mi útero NO es del congreso
Esterilizaciones forzadas NUNCA MAS

(Foto Colectivo 25N)

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women aims to raise awareness of the global pandemic of violence against women and girls. Citing the Nigerian schoolgirls’ kidnapping and the continued atrocities committed against women and girls in India and Iraq, United Nation’s Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged people and nations to “end the silence.”

Learn more via The Independent.