The Catalan Women's Institute, in conjunction with the four regional governments of Catalonia, the Catalan Association of Municipalities and the Catalan Federation of Municipalities, have launched a unified institutional campaign to raise awareness on the issue of domestic violence and have done so with a powerful message: “Qui exerceix la violència masclista necessita còmplices. Gira-li l’esquena” (Those who use violence against women need accomplices. Turn your back on them). The campaign consists of five photographs of volunteers showing their backs representing the repudiation of this global scourge.
Through this campaign, the Catalan Women's Institute attempts to show its support for society's growing stand against gender violence and calls for more action to be taken for the mitigation of this social crime. The idea is that the forcefulness of social rejection towards gender violence will provoke a change in the conduct of the perpetuators and that society will move towards a new culture in the relationships between men and women.
The campaign on November 25th celebrates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and will be widely marked thanks to institutional collaboration and coordination through the communication channels of the institutions involved. This institutional consensus against gender violence in the strategies of awareness and prevention also appears in the joint Manifesto of the Government of Catalonia, regional governments and municipal entities which will focus on diverse actions to diminish gender violence.
Origins of the commemoration
The 25th November was declared the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, declared in July 1981, with the first Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Gathering held in Bogota (Colombia). During this gathering, the women denounced gender violence in the domestic sphere and rape and sexual harassment in the area of governments, including torture and abuse suffered by many political prisoners.
This day was chosen to commemorate the Mirabal sisters (Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa), three political activists, of which two were assassinated on November 25th 1960 while travelling to Puerto Plata to visit their husbands who were imprisoned by the dictator Rafael Trujillo’s secret police in the Dominican Republic. The bodies of two of the sisters showed signs of torture as they were found at the bottom of a ravine. For the popular feminist movement in the Dominican Republic, these women symbolize fight and resistance.