In 1999, the UN General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions. At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime - with the abuser usually someone known to her.
Women's activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981. The date commemorates the brutal assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, in 1960 on orders of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).
Governments, international organisations and NGOs are organising activities on the day to raise public awareness of the problem.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women also launches the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, which runs through 10 December, Human Rights Day.
* More at UN Women: http://www.unwomen.org/