You know what I’d love to see instead of the #TamponTax

Cross-posted from: Kim Graham

You know what I’d love to see? Rather than the tampon tax being used to fund women’s services (eg, refuges, etc): Be warned, this may be a long list.

1. The abolition of men’s violence against women. You know, a day when the work of amazing feminists such as Karen Ingala Smith (Counting Dead Women – recording the deaths of women killed by men) , Louise Sgm PenningtonJo Costello and the rest of the wonderful team behind Ending Victimisation and Blame: Everyday Victim Blaming, and Sarah Jane Learmonth of CRASAC (to name just a few) is no longer needed. As it stands, we have so many women dedicated to the cause. So many women who campaign and lobby relentlessly to bring about changes. So many women who carry out work that SHOULDN’T be needed. Yet, in 2015, it’s not only needed, but under threat. Not even a month ago, we lost one charity that was dedicated to the abolition of violence against women, EAVES. We’ll lose more. It’s the harsh reality of what the past five and a half years of Tory rule has brought us. 
Read more You know what I’d love to see instead of the #TamponTax

25 November: UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Cross-posted from: Eaves Charity

25 November is designated as the UN day for the eradication of violence against women. But what is the significance of this date and why is it often marked with butterfly logos?

On 25 November, 1960; three young women and political activists from the Dominican Republic, known as the Mirabal Sisters, were killed, it is believed, on the orders of the Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo. There were four sisters: Minerva, Maria Teresa, Patria and Dedé. They all married and raised families. Dedé was at first mainly focused on the home and farm as her husband did not support her to attend college or take part in political activism though she joined her sisters later. Minerva graduated in law but her access to practicing law was blocked after she allegedly rejected the sexual advances of Trujillo. Minerva remained politically active and her sisters Maria Teresa and Patria joined her. Patria was motivated after having witnessed Trujillo’s men commit a massacre on the 14th of June. This later came to be the name given to their group: “The movement of the Fourteenth of June” but they actually called themselves Las Mariposas – the butterflies. They collated and distributed information on torture, disappearances and extra-judicial killings and started stockpiling weapons for when the revolution would take hold. They and their husbands experienced spells in prison and other harassment.

25 November, 1960; Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa, along with their driver, were stopped when returning from a visit to their husbands in prison by some members of Trujillo’s secret police force. They were beaten and put back in their vehicle which was pushed off a mountainside to fake an apparent accident. In 1961, the Mirabal sisters’ awaited revolution kicked in and Trujillo was assassinated. Thereafter information emerged that confirmed that the killers were Trujillo’s men. It is broadly assumed that they were killed on his orders although he denied this.   However it is widely believed that such an event by his own men could only have occurred unchallenged, if not on his orders, then with his knowledge.

The date of 25 November was established in 1999 as the UN date for the elimination of violence against women.
Read more 25 November: UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

November 25 is the International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women – not White Ribbon Day

Cross-posted from: Louise Pennington
Originally published: 25.11.15

November 25th was first chosen as the date for an annual day of protest of male violence in 1981. This occurred at the first Feminist Conference for Latin American and Caribbean Women in Bogota. It was chosen in memory of Patria, Maria Teresa and Minerva Mirabel.

The Mirabel sisters were political activists who fought the fascist government of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. They stood up to a genocidal regime that used torture, rape and kidnapping and they were murdered for it. This is why November 25th was chosen as an international day of activism that “denounced all forms men’s violence against women from domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment to state violence including torture and abuse of women political prisoners.”

November 25th received official recognition as an international day to raise awareness of violence against women from United Nations on December 17, 1999.

None of this information is out with the public realm. Even Wikipedia, not known for its accuracy, manages to get the facts right. Yet, November 25th is rarely referred to as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women anymore. Instead, it is called White Ribbon day after a campaign started by men in Canada. 
Read more November 25 is the International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women – not White Ribbon Day