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Yearly Commemorated Events
Days of Activism on Violence against Women and Children

The 16 days campaign calls for: raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human right issue at the local, national, regional and international levels; strengthening local and international work around violence against women and establishing a link between the two; and creating tools to pressure government, private sector and the general society to implement promises made to eliminate gender based violence.

The period 25 November to 10 December each year is recognized as Sixteen Days of Activism worldwide in commemoration and condemnation of any form of violence, especially against women and children. The annual 16 days of activism against gender violence is an ongoing strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and children. Botswana joins other nations worldwide to remember those who have been affected by violence and abuse in one way or the other. In this way, we demonstrate our commitment of building a compassionate, caring and just society as stipulated in Vision 2016.

In 1995, the fourth world conference on women, held in Beijing, China, identified violence against women as one of the twelve critical areas of concern that adversely affects the lives of women and girls. The Beijing Platform of Action notes that violence against women is a violation of women’s basic human rights and hinders the realization of equality, development and peace.

Why these dates?

25th November marks the violent assassination of the Mirabal sisters, by the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic.  Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabal were political activists and highly visible symbols of resistance to Trujillo’s dictatorship. They were repeatedly jailed, along with their husbands for their revolutionary activities towards democracy and justice. On the 25th November 1960, the three sisters were murdered by members of Trujillo’s Secret Police, on their way to visit their imprisoned husbands. The sisters have since become symbols of both popular and feminist resistance.

In 1999, the UN officially recognised Nov 25th as the International day for the elimination of Violence Against Women.

December 1st

Marks the beginning of an annual campaign designed to encourage public support for and development of programmes to prevent the spread of HIV infection; to provide education on and promote awareness of issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. It was first observed in 1988 after a summit of health ministers from around the world called for a spirit of social tolerance and a greater exchange of information on HIV and AIDS. Since world wide HIV and AIDS is affecting more women than men, this has made it a gender issue and a cause for concern for women’s development.

December 3rd

Is the International Day of people living with disabilities?

December 6th - the Montreal Massacre

On Dec 6, 1989 a 25 year old man walked into the University of Montreal’s School of Engineering with a point 223 calibre semi-automatic rifle and went on a shooting spree, during which he murdered 14 women and injured 9 and 4 men. The young man believed that it was because of women students that he had not been accepted to the school of engineering. These women became symbols of the injustice against women.

December 10th

Crowns the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.  On this date in contemporary history, the nations of the world joined together to try and bury once and for all, the spectre of genocide raised by the second world war.

International women’s Day

The International Women’s Day (8 March) is an event celebrated worldwide for the enhancement of the status of women and the promotion of gender equality. This Day is celebrated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday.  The Day gives an opportunity to recognise the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women. The observance of the International Women’s Day acknowledges the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.

The International Women’s Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history: it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men.

National Women’s Exposition

The Expositions started in 2000 as an initiative of the Women’s Affairs Department, in response to the disparities that exist between women and men in the Trade and Economic spheres.  The initiative is to provide an enabling environment, where women are provided with a platform to show case their talents, knowledge and skills hence their work in the business arena. Experience has shown that strengthening networking and collaboration among the different groups can overcome the limitations of market site and other constraints through the linkages with the Formal National Sector Business. The Exposition provides an environment where women’s goods/products are judged on the basis of design and quality and thus motivating women to be creative and innovative thus diversifying their products so as to meet the competitive market demand.

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