I don’t talk about my maternal grandmother often, mainly because I was raised by my paternal grandma and she had a bigger impact in my life. However, my other grandma was such a remarkable woman that I should tell you about her more often. Today, as I join the 16 Days of Activism efforts for ending violence against women, I am reminded of her and her indomitable spirit at a time and place where there wasn’t so much room for a woman to be defiant.
It was the beginning of 1951, and my grandmother Cela lived in a secluded town in the mountains of Jarabacoa with her husband Ramón and 6 children. He was a provider, he had land, animals and the means to support the whole family. She didn’t live no fairy tale though, since this man was very possessive and jealous. One day she decided to go seek work as a maid at a nearby town and left Ramón, who continued to pursue and stalk her for months after that. Luckily, she prevailed and ended up moving to the city capital of Santo Domingo, where she met my mom’s father.
Although this happened more than 65 years ago, women around the world continue to not only experience verbal and emotional abuse, but also physical punishment and in many, many cases, end up being killed by their abuser. In fact, one in three women around the world experience violence in their lifetime, often in the hands of someone they love and trust. Of all women who were victims of homicide globally in 2012, almost half were killed by intimate partners or family members.
The statistics in the United States are as concerning as in other countries, particularly among women of color and women with disabilities which fall victims at higher rates than their counterparts. This is a global pandemic and we must not turn our faces the other way, it is our moral duty as human beings to help further the efforts for ending violence against women and girls, and not only by creating awareness but by also supporting these efforts financially.
Orange The World & Donate Today
Starting today, November 25, the official International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and until Humans Right Day on December 10, we’ll be celebrating 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence which is only one of the efforts for ending violence against women and girls around the globe. The 2016 UNiTE campaign concentrates on the need for funding to support the efforts for ending violence against women and girls that will allow the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The main focus of this campaign is to raise funds that will go to fight against gender-based violence through resources that will prevent incidence of these case and in the long term ending violence against women and girls. During the next 16 days, we will be sharing orange photos on social media to spread the word and create a world in which women and girls are respected, educated and thriving.
You can help these efforts during the next 16 days, changing your profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the orange ribbons or by wearing something orange, sharing information and spreading the word using the #OrangeTheWorld hashtag.
One of the main challenges that organizations face is the lack of resources for initiatives that can aid in ending violence against women and girls, and that’s why we all need to donate to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women and UN Women to help create a culture of non-violence and also provide support to survivors around the world.
Efforts for Ending Violence Against Women & Girls & What Your Money Can Do
$40 Can print 10 manuals on gender and gender-based violence and distribute them to teachers in Armenia to prevent violence against girls.
$100 17 women’s rights activists in the Middle East can be trained to engage men and boys as change agents to end violence against women and girls.
$1000 70 police officers can undergo training to offer better support to women survivors of violence in India.
What are you doing to join the fight against gender-based violence?