Official UN Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women


This is what a feminist movement looks like! 

On 23 November 2022, the UN commemorated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, under its current global UNiTE umbrella campaign – “UNiTE! Activism to End Violence against Women & Girls”

The event welcomed women human rights activists from around the world to share experiences of the transformative impact of feminist movements and the crucial role played by civil society, especially women’s rights organizations in driving these global movements.  

Recognizing the need for more long-term, flexible funding for civil society and women’s rights organizations, especially in times of crises and setbacks, UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous announced the launch of the 2022 UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Call for Proposals, which will remain open until 11 January 2023.  

“The UN Trust Fund has been an essential source for support to hundreds of civil society organisations around the world”, she said. 

The Call for Proposals invites civil society and women’s rights organizations to submit proposals (in English, French or Spanish) for demand-driven initiatives to end violence against women and girls for three-year grants worth up to USD 1 million. 

Following the Executive Director’s intervention, an intergenerational dialogue took place among trailblazing women’s rights activists and human rights defenders. Ms. Charlotte Bunch, Founding Director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership, said: 

“It took decades of grassroots activism, lobbying and advocacy to get violence against women recognized as a human rights breach.”  

She went on to explain how feminist movements have played an important role in shedding light on issues of violence against women, and said that as violence against women and girls is “a mechanism of control”, ending that violence needs collective resourcing and support from every individual, organization and government.  

Quote card that reads “Stand together with us, be bold, be fearless, be courageous because that is what we need to resist pushback on women's rights.” (by Bronwyn Kili)

At the event, young feminists and activists leading positive change on the ground for women’s rights shared their own experiences and called for global, collective action. 

Mana Shooshtari, and Sonita Alizada, both young activists, shared more about how women and girls are standing up for their rights in Iran and Afghanistan. Mana said: “The world is watching a new revolution led by women and girls”. 

Shared understandings were expressed during the event, particularly the need to urge acknowledgement of violence against women and girls as a global emergency, and the threat of growing anti-rights movements worldwide, especially during crises.  

The event created space for participants to collectively honour the incredible work of women human rights defenders who carry on their work to safeguard women’s freedom, dignity and rights even though many in their ranks have lost their lives in acts of violence.  

Quote card that reads “The aim of the pushback is clear: to prevent women’s potential to contributing to an equal society, to make an example that women cannot be too vocal “(by Reem Alsalem, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and Girls)

The event was also an opportunity to announce a new report on femicide by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Women. Gender-related killings of women and girls: Improving data to improve responses to femicide/feminicide is an initiative to inform response to femicide and advocate for a world where the lives of women and girls are not in jeopardy because of their gender. 

Concluding the event, Femi Oke invited the audience to join in a mutual call out that they too were part of feminist movements as the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence kicks off.  

The UN Trust Fund contributed a video intervention featuring voices of its grantees and women’s rights activists who are changing the lives of women and girls so they can live free from violence.  

During the 16 Days of Activism, join the feminist movements, be part of the change. Be an activist to end violence against women and girls! 

Visit the UN Trust Fund’s In Focus page on the 16 Days of Activism to find out ways to get involved to support civil society and women’s rights organizations who are powering global feminist movements.