25th NOVEMBER – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Failure to respect women's rights
harms humanity as a whole
Today is the World Day against Violence against Women and it is not a random date: on 25 November 1960, three of the four Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic oppressed by a ruthless dictatorship, were brutally murdered. Three girls full of life, with the dream of changing the world also known under the name "Mariposas", because they were like butterflies in search of freedom.
It was November 25th 1960 and Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa returned from prison, where they had gone to visit their husbands,
when they were blocked on the road by military intelligence officers who took them to a hidden location. There they were tortured, raped, clubbed and strangled in their car. They were found the next day at the bottom of a precipice together with the driver who had accompanied them. "A terrible accident", the newspapers wrote. Few people believed them.
Those dead awakened consciences, rekindled the struggleand decreed the end for the regime that had ordered them.
That 25 November became a day of remembrance, a day of struggle for all women.
The Mirabal sisters are considered
the global symbol against gender-based violence.
The common matrix of all forms of violence and discrimination against women is the lack of consideration of their dignity as persons.
Failure to respect women’s rights harms humanity as a whole: this statement lays the foundations for the construction of different social relations, centred on the Person as such and on mutual respect regardless of any form of diversity, be it sexual, ethnic, religious, legal or ideological.
Today a lot of red shoes will appear in our squares tracing a path with disturbing tones. Red shoes like the blood shed by many women, killed by husbands, lovers, companions. Sandals, pumps, wedges, ballerinas, trainers, ankle boots, silent symbols of a procession of absent women, cancelled by blind violence. Women of which only the shoes remain. Red shoes have now become the international emblem of the fight against “feminicide”: the Mexican artist Elina Chauvet was the first to narrate the phenomenon of feminicide through an invasion of red shoes. In particular, her project Zapatos Rojos was first carried out in 2009 in Ciudad Juárez, the border city in northern Mexico where the term feminicide was born, a phenomenon that has emerged since 1993. Hundreds of women are kidnapped, raped and murdered for the simple reason that there is total impunity for these crimes.