International Day of Violence Against Women Observed in Armenia

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was celebrated in Armenia last week with the participation of the Armenian government–the Women’s Rights Center–and the UN Development Program (UNDP).

The origins of this day date back to November 25–1960–when three Mirabal sisters from the Dominican Republic were assassinated for their political activism. The sisters–known as the "Unforgettable Butterflies," became a symbol of the crisis caused by violence against women. November 25 has been chosen by the United Nations to commemorate their lives and promote global recognition of gender violence.

Violence against women is global in reach–and takes place in all societies and cultures–affecting women no matter what their race–ethnicity–social origin–property–birth or other status. In Armenia–studies show that about 70 percent of all cases occur in the country’s most central institution: the family.

The Government of Armenia recognizes the issue of violence against women and has included it in the National Action Plan for Improving the Status of Women and Enhancing Their Role in Society. Among the UN agencies in Armenia–the UNDP is helping to address this issue with a major project on Gender and Politics. Part of UNDP’s project is aimed at supporting non-government organizations to combat domestic violence. By providing gran’s to projects focused on men against violence–UNDP is helping to draw attention to the role of men in fighting violence against women.

UN Resident Coordinator and UN Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative in Armenia Lise Grande–noted–"The commemoration of this Day is a commitment to do everything possible to support the endeavors of the Armenian people to eliminate violence against women."

The Women Rights Center also launched a White Ribbon Campaign–where each year–men around the world wear a white ribbon from November 25 until December 10–International Human Rights Day. The white ribbon symbolizes a man’s pledge to never commit violence against women.

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