Rome (Italy). On November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is celebrated. On December 17, 1999, with resolution 54&134, the General Assembly of the United Nations determined to celebrate on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, in remembrance of the date of November 25, 1960 when the bodies of three Sisters: Patria, Minerva, and Maria Mirabal, were found at the bottom of a precipice with evident signs of sexual violence and torture suffered at the hands of the law enforcement officers of the then dictator of the Dominican Republic.
Conflicts and violence increase in the world as well as the number of feminicides, rape, abuse and discrimination against women. This is the dramatic result that emerged at the World Human Rights Forum organized in Strasbourg in recent days by the Council of Europe. One in three women in the world has suffered some form of physical or sexual violence. There is an increase in the courage to denounce, but violence also multiplies, denounces Feride Acar, President of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, during the Istanbul Convention:
“There is much more awareness of violence against women now than ten years ago. Even compared to two years ago. There are more denouncements. Moreover, given the very rapid changes in the world, we also come into contact with forms of violence that we did not know before, which we did not know in Europe. This also gives the impression of the greater spread of violence. Fundamentally, however, with the increased violence, conflicts are exacerbated, and violence against women, as well as against children, also increase. They are part of that chain reaction which violence brings with it between societies and within every society. All these factors must be considered”.
There is much work to be done. In every country, women and children continue to be afflicted by violence and enormous suffering. Violence impedes development, generates instability, and makes it even more difficult to reach peace. Violence against women negatively influences and represents a serious obstacle for attaining objectives such as the elimination of poverty, the struggle against HIV/AIDS, and the strengthening of peace and security.
This is why, even in 2018, many institutions, schools, associations, and other subjects promote various initiatives to sensitize people. November 25 is a day of action to denounce the drama of violence against women, the commitment to not tolerate acts of violence against women and to promote social renewal able to change the presuppositions which constitute the grounds that nourish violence. Meetings and events are organized in the whole world, levels of society with simple ways that are full of meaning, stimulating reflection, and inviting each one to bring their own contribution to oppose violence.
In every cultural and social context, the educating communities are called upon to be involved and reflect on this ‘terrible wound’ of violence against women. Often the causes are a separation, unfulfilled expectations, family balances that are being modified, affirmation of roles and powers that are believed to be threatened. In the ‘Guidelines for the Educational Mission’ at number 109, we read: “Building contexts of ongoing formation that generate learning and change can favor consistent processes of self-formation”.
Thus, the ‘winning card’ to form ourselves together is precisely to educate ourselves and educate to respect and to nonviolence the children, parents, laity, collaborators, and work partners. We cannot fight against violence by instituting a ‘day against it’, but by working 365 days a year through culture, education, communication, awareness!