International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Feminicides on the rise.
A scourge rampant year after year

Today many more red shoes will appear in our squares than last year. Shoes as red as the blood shed by so many women, killed by husbands, lovers, companions. Sandals, pumps, wedges, ballerinas, trainers, ankle boots, silent symbols of a procession of women absent, because wiped out by blind violence. Women of whom only the shoes remain.

The chronicle tells of practically one feminicide a week; chilling numbers that make us realise how the laws and measures implemented so far are still not enough to limit a situation that, year after year, only seems to get worse. In short, despite the Code Red coming into force in 2019, the scourge shows no sign of being curbed in any way.

The date of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women also marks the beginning of the ’16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence’ preceding World Human Rights Day on 10 December each year, initiated in 1991 by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) and supported by the United Nations, to emphasise that violence against women is a violation of human rights. This period encompasses a number of other significant dates, including 29 November, Women Human Rights Defenders Day (WHRD), 1 December, World AIDS Day, and 6 December, the anniversary of the Montréal Polytechnic massacre, when 14 female engineering students were killed by a 25-year-old man who claimed he wanted to ‘fight feminism’.

The Congregation’s International Justice and Peace Office also promotes and disseminates the UN’s “16 annual days of activism” against gender-based violence.

The global theme of this year’s 16 Days of Activism, which will take place from 25 November to 10 December 2022, is “UNITED! Activism to End Violence against Women and Girls”.