International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women


Translated by: Esra Kayandan     Edited by:Pınar Özcan

In 1999, 25th of November was declared as an International Day for the Elimination of Violence
against Women by the General Assembly of the United Nations.Within this framework , on 25th of
Novembers various types of events are being organized, to bring forward , discuss the violence against
women and create awareness. The reason of determining the date 25th of November bases on an event
that occured in Republic of Dominic in 1960. Three sisters, Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa, who
are known as Mirebal sisters (named as Butterflies) were born in Cibas territory of Dominic Republic,
were fighting against dictatorship of Turijillo with their spouses. Patria initiated Clandestino
movement and other sisters joined in that movement. In different times of their fight, which was a
symbol of stance against the dictatorship, they faced with serious pressure and they were sentenced to
prison. At the beginning of November of 1960, two dangers were mentioned by Trujillo in the country:
Church and Mirabal Sisters! On 25th November 1960, three sisters were raped and killed. However it
was announced that they died in a car accident. After one year later of the murder, movement against
Trujillo ended the dictatorship.
On this occasion, firstly Latin American women and then whole world women accepted 25th
November as a condemnation day. Since that day on every 25th of November , violence against
women is being condemned.
With respect to the decision of The United Nations, that is made in 1999, every year, at the 25th of
November Violence against women is brought into spotlight within the scope of the events for
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women activism in Turkey.
Due to patriarchal structure, issue of violence against women was pushed into the background and
hadn’t been studied much about. Over the last twenty years attention to the topic was increased. Due to
the last twenty years growing violence issue, social awareness increased and had many changes to
avoid this situation both at international and national level. The violence (especially against woman
and child) was started to seen violation of human rights and a public health problem. Within this
scope, a great deal of international conventions were signed and were legislated against violence in the
various countries. One of most the important is Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and
Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence. (Istanbul Convention)
The convention, was opened for signature in 11 May 2011 in Istanbul by Committee of Ministers of
the Council of Europe and was the very first convention that has the power of sanction about violence
against women and domestic violence in international law. The Convention is called Istanbul
Convention because opening for signature took place in Istanbul. This convention was binding for the
first time and accentuated to violence against women is violation of human rights also about the setting
up an independent audit mechanism was regulated.
Purpose of this convention:
Creating The Europe that has terminated violence against women and domestic violence. An important
feature of the convention is widening scope of domestic violence. This convention attracts notice not
just to physical, psychological also economical dimension of domestic violence. The convention has
given a place topics of eliminate, pretend, prosecution and politics of composing to victim support
mechanism to form a legal framework for fighting violence against women. Istanbul Convention
played an effective, illuminating role in fighting against women violence.

Article 1 – Purposes of the Convention
1 The purposes of this Convention are to:
a) protect women against all forms of violence, and prevent, prosecute and eliminate
violence against women and domestic violence;
b) contribute to the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and promote
substantive equality between women and men, including by empowering women;
c) design a comprehensive framework, policies and measures for the protection of the victims and
assistance to all victims of violence against women and domestic violence;
d) promote international co-operation with a view to eliminating violence against women
and domestic violence;
e) provide support and assistance to organisations and law enforcement agencies to
effectively co-operate in order to adopt an integrated approach to eliminating violence
against women and domestic violence.
2 In order to ensure effective implementation of its provisions by the Parties, this Convention
establishes a specific monitoring mechanism. (called by GREVIO)
Studyings are done in Turkey in this contex. For example Protection of the Family Law numbered
4320 was accepted on 14 January 1998 and was published in official journal than came into force.
Also in 20 May 2003, within European harmonization process, with changing in Labor Act of Turkey,
Article 24 of Labor Act of Turkey was accepted that if the employee was sexually harassed in
workplace, it will be occured employee’s right to break the contract for just cause. In addition to these,
new arrangements were brought to eliminated physical, sexual, economical against women and
punished the perpetrator in Turkish Criminal Code, Turkish Civil Code, Turkish Code of Obligations.

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