25 November marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, one of the most devastating human rights violations against women and girls around the world. Equality between women and men and eliminating all forms of discrimination against women are fundamental human rights. Despite that, women continue being killed, beaten, exploited, raped, mutilated or forced to marry. On the International Day, the EU institutions are lit up in orange as part of the UNiTE campaign, to symbolize a brighter future without violence.
"We say once again, violence must stop now" the EU stresses in a statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and reassures that "the EU will continue to work tirelessly through all instruments at its disposal to eliminate violence against women and girls, making it a thing of the past."
In her remarks at the launch of this Initiative, the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said that “Violence against women is very often rooted in ancient prejudices and attitudes," and stressed that “women need to tell other women that it is right to speak up and that abuse is never, never their fault.” Things have begun to change, all around the world. “Attitudes and mind-sets are not eternal", says Federica Mogherini. In South Asia, the percentage of girls married under the age of fifteen went down by half. In Africa thousands of communities are abandoning and publicly renouncing the horrible practice of female genital mutilation.