The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is celebrated worldwide every November 25.

November 25 was chosen as the International Day Against Violence Against Women at the first meeting of feminists of Latin America and the Caribbean (Feminist Encuentro) held in Bogotá in 1981, in memory of the Mirabel sisters (Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa) who were brutally murdered by the dictator Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic in 1960.

The Mirabel sisters were political activists who acted under the name Las Mariposas (Butterflies) and became a visible symbol of resistance to the Trujillo dictatorial regime, which is why they were liquidated. After their death, they became a symbol of national and feminist resistance.

Since 1999, November 25 has been officially confirmed as the International Day against Violence against Women by resolution 54/134 of the United Nations.

This is also the day when the global campaign of 16 days of activism against violence against women begins, in which more than 1,700 organizations in over 100 countries participate.

The 16 Days of Activism campaign includes important international dates that link violence, women, and human rights, namely:

  • November 25 - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,
  • December 1- World AIDS Day,
  • December 3 - International Day of Persons with Disabilities,
  • December 6 - Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre,
  • December 10 - International Human Rights Day.

On this occasion, we wrote about the actions carried out in the region on the occasion of the International Day against Violence against Women, activities within the campaign of 16 days of activism, organizations that fight against violence against women every day, and how you can support them.

Ana Batrićević/Journalists against the violence

Actions and initiatives through which we support the fight against violence against women throughout the region

From today to December 10, numerous actions will be organized in the region. You can find some of them below.

AWC, National Museum, and artists against violence against women

In anticipation of the International Day against Violence Against Women, the National Museum in Belgrade organized a conversation with Ivana Smiljanić, an artist and member of the Board of Directors of the Autonomous Women's Center, on November 24.

Through her work and presentation, Ivana presented how female artists deal with the problem of violence against women and how this problem affects and shapes her creative process.

Guidelines for 16 days of activism that you can apply in any situation

The informal group of Journalists against violence against women, in response to the international campaign 16 days of activism against violence against women, has published guidelines for the media to draw attention to what is essential to report during the campaign.

It is important to apply these guidelines at every opportunity because when reporting respects the dignity of victims and preserves their safety, when information that helps to suppress violence is transmitted, the media become essential allies in the fight against violence against women. Not only during important dates but every day of the year, Reporters Against Violence announce.

As in the media coverage of violence, in addition to what is written and spoken, photos and illustrations are a vital element UNDP Serbia, Fund B92, Journalists Against Violence, and the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality of the Republic of Serbia previously created a free base with more than 140 photos and illustrations with the idea of ​​serving as an aid to the media to present the problem of violence in an ethical manner and to call for solidarity with persons exposed to violence.

The database is available at the link, and if you haven't already, access it today.

Humanitarian self-defense seminar for women in Nis

Women and girls who want to learn more about self-defense will be able to do so on Sunday, November 27, from 1 p.m., in the Fort Jiu-Jitsu club hall in Nis. The occasion is the International Day against Violence Against Women, the registration fee is 500 dinars, and all the money is intended for the Safe House in Niš.

The humanitarian seminar, created on the idea of ​​Isidora Baćević from the Rotaract Club Niš - Center, will consist of a theoretical and a practical part, and as the number of places is limited due to the capacity of the hall, it is important to register as soon as possible via link.

Actions in several cities in Serbia

In several cities in the south of Serbia, during the 16 days of activism, numerous actions will be organized with the aim of raising awareness about the problem of violence against women, both in public and private spaces, drawing attention to the problem of domestic violence and empowering women to report violence.

Center for girls will have a street performance named Women's Cemetery in several cities in Serbia.

The team to help women who have experienced violence at the Health Center Niš is organizing an action called You are not alone on Monday, November 25, from 10 a.m. to noon in the central hall of the Health Center Niš. Excerpts from the play I am an emotional being, as well as a film, are planned.

In Vranje, on November 25, an Orange tea party will be organized with the girls of the SOS corner for girls in the periodical hall of the Bora Stanković Library from 11 a.m. It will be about sexual violence against girls and cases from this district that have disturbed the public.

Conference Abuse is not love

In Croatia, to meet the International Day against Violence against Women, the YSL beauty initiative Abuse Is Not Love organized a conference dedicated to the problem of violence against women and partner violence.

The YSL beauty Initiative, by the way, has been supporting this topic in Croatia since last year through cooperation with the Foundation Solidarity (Solidarna) and a three-year plan for donations through the fund #save me.

Self-defense education and training in Zagorje

Center for consulting, research and education, the SOS telephone and counseling center for women victims of violence in the Krapina-Zagorje County, in cooperation with the County Team for the prevention and fight against violence against women and violence in the family, held an educational workshop for male and female students on the topic of prevention of sexual violence.

Violence against women in Croatia is no longer a topic that is kept quiet, but it is a topic that needs to be discussed more often and louder. It is necessary to raise awareness, learn and talk about the issue of gender-based violence daily, starting from preventive programs for children and young people to specialized training for experts who work daily with women victims of violence, communicated organizers on this occasion.

Organizations that fight every day for equality and women's rights, and how we can support them in this

As always, when it comes to important topics, let's note that a world or international day should not be the only occasion when we provide support, show solidarity, raise our voices and get involved in specific actions.

Support should be constant, and we work on solving problems every day of the year. We singled out only some organizations that contribute to the fight against violence throughout the region, help those who have survived it, and advocate for each of us to live in a better, more equal, and safer society.

Find out who they are, remember all the good things they do, and support their fight.

Milena Anđela/Journalists against the violence

Donate to the fight against violence and women

Women's Forum Elbasan, since 1991, has been supporting women and children who have survived domestic violence.

To continue empowering and supporting women coming out of abusive relationships, they need the community's support. That's why on the platform launched a crowdfunding campaign that you can support in a few clicks. Do it today and contribute to the fight against violence against women.

Meet FemPlatz and support their fight for a society that will ensure equality, empowerment, and respect for every woman and girl's rights

The FemPlatz association deals with advocacy for women's and girls' rights and gender equality daily, with a particular emphasis on women and girls exposed to multiple discrimination and those from the most vulnerable categories.

You certainly had the opportunity to hear their voice whenever it was about femicide or different forms of violence that women are exposed to daily at home, at the workplace, at school, or on the street.

You can find the story of FemPlatz's activism, solidarity, and fight for a society that will ensure equality, empowerment, and respect for every woman and girl's rights at the link and find out how you can support that fight.

Marija Erdelji

Alternative center for girls

Since 2013, the Alternative Center for Girls has been working daily to promote and protect women's human rights and marginalized groups, with a particular focus and concern for the rights of young women and girls.

They are best known for their campaign Support super girls, through which, with the community's support, empower girls in Serbia and help them develop their talents.

Find out more about the work of the Alternative Center for Girls and how you can help them spread spaces of freedom, creativity, and solidarity through the empowerment of girls at this and this link.

Committee for Human Rights Vranje

Committee for Human Rights Vranje has been working to protect the human rights of the most vulnerable groups for 22 years, empowering groups and women's organizations in the local environment to fight against violence and all forms of human trafficking.

Since 2002, the organization, through SOS phone, has been providing support and help to women, girls, and children who are victims of domestic and partner violence. For their work, they received the prestigious world award With and For Girls, awarded by a collective of 11 global foundations.

On the occasion of the 16 days of activism campaign, they are planning numerous activities, and for information, as well as educational content on the topic of feminism, gender equality, and the fight against violence, follow them on social networks.

Get to know Reconstruction Women's Fund and support them in their efforts to empower local women's organizations

Reconstruction Women's Fund is the first local women's foundation in Serbia. Since 2004, when it was founded, Reconstruction Women's Fund has been working on connecting, organizing, and providing support to women's groups and their empowerment, and encouraging the exchange of women's activist, academic, artistic, and pacifist experience and knowledge.

On this link, find out how RŽF contributes to the feminist struggle and on this how you can support them in it.

Kosovo Women's Network

Founded in 1996, Kosovo Women's Network was originally an informal network of women's groups and organizations from different regions in Kosovo.

From its foundation until today, it has developed into a network that advocates on behalf of Kosovo women at the local, regional and international levels.

Representing the interests of its 190 members, including women's organizations of all ethnic groups from all over Kosovo, the Kosovo Women's Network is a leader among civil society organizations in Kosovo.

Kosovo Women's Fund also awards small grants to women's organizations in Kosovo and the region and focuses on those who advocate women's rights, especially among rural and/or marginalized groups.

You can learn more about the activities, mission, and achievements of the Kosovo Women's Network here and here, and you can support their work by donating on this link.

Women's Center Užice

Women's Center Užice is an organization dedicated to improving women's rights and position in all spheres of life and work, with a special focus on economic empowerment and providing services to women in situations of domestic and partner violence. Their work has been based on feminist principles since 1998 when the organization was founded as a result of the initiative of 15 women who wanted to contribute to activating women in the local environment through joint action and influence the improvement of their position.

Since 2015, the Užice Women's Center has been providing a service SOS phone for victims of domestic and partner violence. It is the only such specialized service in the territory of the Zlatibor district. As part of this service, they provide psychosocial assistance and support to users, legal assistance, and collect and process data to monitor the work of institutions in the sphere of protection from violence and public advocacy for more effective protection. Also, they work with young people to prevent gender-based violence, raise public awareness of the phenomenon of violence, and influence rural women's awareness of discrimination and violence against women.

Their Economic Program achieves several important goals: it employs women from hard-to-employ groups with a particular emphasis on women who are not competitive in the labor market and women with disabilities, whose potential is not sufficiently recognized in the community. As part of the program, an innovative center for collecting and recycling of textiles was developed -Retex, as a response to the social needs of the community, environmental protection and employment of women from hard-to-employ and vulnerable groups.

One way to support them is by purchasing their products, while details of their activities and community contributions can be found here and here.

Divine Women

The Gruaja Hyjnore (Divine Women) organization works to empower women from vulnerable categories in Kosovo through education about their rights, economic empowerment, and help in finding employment and their source of income.

Divine Women also work with young people, educating them about the position of women in Kosovo society and empowering them in the fight against violence and for equality.

Find out more about the organization's work and how to support it here and here.

Women's Solidarity

Women's Solidarity is an informal women's collective from Belgrade, which you must have heard about because they have been active for the last four years.

They always were there to stand up loudly against any form of violence, violation, and endangerment of women's rights and the empowerment of women in the fight against patriarchy.

You can follow their actions and work on the website and Instagram account, and with a donation, you can maintain them at this link.

Bonus ideas for contributing to the work of feminist organizations and women's empowerment

In the region, many organizations work on women's empowerment, the fight against violence, and feminist education. We have singled out only a few, and if you have suggestions on who we should include in the list or present in more detail in some of the following texts, write to us today.

An additional way to support the fight for women's rights and the work of feminist organizations is by donating, and there are currently two campaigns that you can support:

What you can do at any time (perhaps the upcoming holiday and gift-giving season is a good occasion to remind ourselves of this) is to support social enterprises that empower women in various ways by purchasing their products. Some of them, which we single out on this occasion, are the following:

  • Somborske Šnajderke - because by buying their products, you support victims of violence,
  • Social enterprise Ruke- because you contribute to the economic empowerment of former and current users of Safe Houses and women from the most vulnerable categories,
  • Fierce Women- because you contribute to social responsibility and gender equality,
  • Bagel Bagel- because you help victims of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation,
  • EcoBag- because you empower women who belong to hard-to-employ categories,
  • Women on the Way- because you empower and contribute to the employment of refugee women.

If you have additional suggestions –write us, and we will be happy to expand the list.

It is important not to forget that the fight for equality and the fight against violence continues and should continue at all times. During campaigns such as 16 days of activism, they are only more visible, noticeable, and under public scrutiny.

Our philanthropy data shows that these topics are not overrepresented or popular regarding philanthropy and donations, which we have already written about. Progress is gradually coming, but all of us in the communities need to make additional efforts so that the support is more extensive, louder, more intense and reaches everyone who needs it on time.

Therefore, choose how you will provide your support and contribute to the fight against violence and show solidarity today, but also every other day during the year, at every opportunity, and as long as there is a need for it.

Cover photo: Ana Batrićević/Journalists against the violence