COLSIBA: An international call for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, particularly for those who work every day in Latin America's agro-industry. This includes banana, pineapple, flower, sugar cane, asparagus and mango plantations amongst others. Women experience lack of employment, discrimination in the workplace, low wages, sexual harassment and trade union persecution.
In 1981 the first Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Encounter was held in Bogotá, Colombia
. It was agreed upon at this Encounter that the 25th of November would become the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, in remembrance of the assassination of the Mirabal sisters.
In 1993 the United Nations General Assembly approved the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, in which "violence against women" was defined as such:
"Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life."
The Assembly recognised that it was necessary to outline "a clear statement of the rights to be applied to ensure the elimination of violence against women in all its forms, a commitment by States in respect of their responsibilities, and a commitment by the international community at large to the elimination of violence against women."
On the 17th of December, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly
chose the 25th of November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The UN invited governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations to organise activities directed at raising public awareness with regards to this issue on this internationally recognised day.
In October 2006 the In-depth study on all forms of violence against women was published, highlighting the concrete obligations of States in preventing violence against women and tackling root causes, which include historical inequality and widespread discrimination. In addition, it indicated the need for investigating, prosecuting and punishing attackers.
Why have an International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women?
• Violence against women is a human rights violation.
• Violence against women is a consequence of the discrimination they encounter, as present in law as it is in practice, and the persistence of inequality as a result of gender.
• Violence against women affects and prevents women's equality. This includes poverty eradication, the fight against HIV and AIDS and ensuring peace and safety.
• Violence against women continues to be a global pandemic. Up to 70% of women suffer from violence at some stage in their lives.
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