"This is a call from women and girls to every service that has a responsibility for responding to violence against women and girls (VAWG).
This is an important report as it gives voice to women and girls who are all too often lost, ignored and marginalised in policy debates and discussions on ending VAWG. If we genuinely want to improve efforts to eliminate violence, women’s experiences and views on how the system is and is not working to protect and support them has to be at the heart of all policy and service planning.
This report, like many others before it, demonstrates that women want improved access to consistent support and value women-only and BME women-only specialist services; these are the spaces that women approach and trust, to feel validated, believed and to help them to navigate the system and move forward from violence.”
Beyond the Labels is now available from our resources page.
The 25th November marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
This date was chosen by the United Nations in honour of the Mirabal sisters, three political activists, assassinated on 25 November 1960 by order of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961). The assassination of the Mirabal sisters propelled the anti-Trujillo movement and within a year, the Trujillo dictatorship came to an end.
The sisters, referred to as the “Inolvidables Mariposas”, the “Unforgettable Butterflies”, have become a symbol of freedom and inspiration for many feminist activists seeking to challenge inequality and injustice. For many of us working to eliminate violence against women and girls, the 25th of November is a day for us to come together to reflect, raise our voices and honour women’s activism, our sacrifices and our survival.
Yet as time has progressed, the 25th of November has been rebranded and mainstreamed in such a way that the activism of the Mirabal sisters is often absent from awareness-raising and publicity campaigns. Increasingly the 25th of November has become associated with individual campaigns, such as the White Ribbon Campaign, rather than being identified as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
This year, Imkaan has come together with the Pacific Islands Safety and Prevention Project (The Project) in Aotearoa (New Zealand)to reiterate our call for equality and for the elimination of violence against women and girls. We have chosen to use Purple Butterflies as the symbol of this collaboration.
Purple Butterflies commemorates the lives and activism of the Mirabal sisters, the “Inolvidables Mariposas”, honours women’s activism and raises the voices of the black feminist movement.
The butterfly is a symbol of transformation and metamorphosis and for us represents the possibility of change – a reminder that we can all create a different world.