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Why November 25 should Not be Called White Ribbon Day

The 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women campaign was a campaign conceptualised by women’s rights activists. Tying together the critical dates of November 25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and December 10: World Human Rights Day and stringing together other critical dates in between, this campaign was above all else an activist campaign.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

26th November 2012 00:00

Alessia Valenza

November 25 became known as International Day of Protest of Violence Against Women in memory of the Mirabel sisters. The three sisters who were a part of a political movement against the Trujilo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic and who despite being incarcerated and tortured never gave up until finally they were killed by the henchmen of the Trujilo dictatorship on November 25 1960. The work and efforts of the Mirabel sisters has become iconic in the feminist movement and many women’s rights activists continue to struggle against all odds against military dictatorships.

The White Ribbon Campaign started following the Montreal Massacre when men joined in the efforts to advocate for the elimination of men’s violence against women. It was an initiative by men and has also gained momentum over the years.

Somewhere along the line in some regions, November 25 has come to be known as White Ribbon day. While ultimately the intentions of the White Ribbon campaign is about the elimination of violence against women, having that as the focus of the beginning of a campaign whose history is etched in feminist struggles takes away the political edge that feminists have worked so hard to keep at the forefront of any debate and forum.

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