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Women's activists have marked November 25 as a day to fight violence against women since 1981. On December 17, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Resolution 54/134). The UN invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities designated to raise public awareness of the problem on this day as an international observance. Women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence, and the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden.

This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960 of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930–1961).

There is more information about the history of this day, and UN publications relating to violence against women, at the UN's Dag Hammarskjöld Library. The UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) also has a regular observance of the day, and offers suggestions for others to observe it.

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