16 Days against Violence against Women
The period between November 25 - proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) as international commemoration day for the victims of violence against women and girls – and December 10 - International Human Rights Day - is devoted to various activities that focus on violence against women in all its forms and try to make people aware of the problem as a grave violation of human rights.
The commemoration day originates from the murder of the three Mirabal sisters who were killed by military intelligence forces of the Dominican Republic on 25 November 1960 after having been tortured for months. They had joined underground activities against Trujillo, the state's despotic dictator.
At a meeting of Latin American and Caribbean feminists in Bogotá (Colombia) in 1981, the participants paid tribute to the three women and proclaimed their day of death as commemoration day for the victims of violence against women and girls. Since 1999, November 25 has been acknowledged by the United Nations as an official international commemoration day.
Since 1991, the American Center for Women’s Global Leadership has worked to launch the campaign "16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence". So far, more than 800 organisations and some 90 countries have joined the campaign worldwide.
Since 2001, Terre des Femmes from Germany, a non-profit human rights organisation for women and girls, has organised the flag action "Free living - without violence (Frei leben ohne Gewalt)" within the scope of the "16 Days against Violence". Public buildings display flags as a symbol against gender violence.