The Vice President and Minister for Social Welfare and Family, Neus Munté, presided over an event held this afternoon on Plaça Sant Jaume to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The event was attended by a strong institutional presence and large turnout of activists who had previously congregated at the doors of the Palau de la Generalitat in protest against all forms of domestic violence in Catalonia. Vice President Munté lead today’s event together with the president of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell; the president of the Barcelona Provincial Council, Mercè Conesa, and the deputy mayor of Barcelona, Laia Sanz.
As part of the day’s event, the four institutional representatives joined Vicki Bernadet, from the Vicki Bernadet Foundation, in a public reading of the joint Institutional Manifesto on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimiation of Violence against Women. The manifesto was agreed upon by the Generalitat de Catalunya, the four provincial councils together with municipal entities, and underlined the importance of raising awareness and galvanizing political and social action to end violence against women and girls in Catalonia.
The Minister of Health, Boi Ruiz, the Minister for Home Affairs, Jordi Jané, the president of the Catalan Women’s Institute, Montse Gatell, also participated in the day’s event together with various departmental representatives from the Government of Catalonia and other Catalan institutions. Furthermore, the event finished with a minute’s silence to commemorate the six fatal domestic violence incidents of 2015.
Improving the prevention and response to violence against women is of a critical importance to the Catalan Government. As the Vice President and Minister for Social Welfare and Family, Neus Munté, has constantly emphasized, in order to achieve social and national progress "we must have the full participation of women in our society”. Furthermore, “we must move towards a new social model in order to fully eradicate sexist stereotypes and gender-based discrimination” as well as the full eradication of any form of domestic violence.
Origins of the ‘25N’
For women activists ,the 25th November has been considered a day against violence since 1981, when with the first Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Gathering was held in Bogota, Colombia. During the gathering, women denounced domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment inflicted by members of the Columbian military forces on many political prisoners as a result of a highly aggressive Security Statute of 1978 implemented to counteract the increased guerrilla activity of the time.
The particular day was chosen to commemorate the Mirabal sisters (Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa), three political activists, of whom two were assassinated on November 25th 1960 while travelling to Puerto Plata. The bodies of two of the sisters were found with signs of torture at the bottom of a ravine. For the popular feminist movement in the Dominican Republic, the Mirabal sisters symbolize the on-going fight and resistance for a world free of violence against women.
By resolution 54/134 of 17 December 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem on that day.