African women leaders on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

November 25 -Decembre 10, 2021

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a sad day when we remember that almost 1 in 3 women has been subject to abuses in their lifetime. In times of crisis, the numbers increase, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts, and climate disasters.

We collected the testimony of women leaders from several African countries who have just participated in the RAISA program in Madrid. We join the international campaign 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence that starts on 25 November and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

Rosária Almeida Vieira

Cape Verde

Director of the Special Needs Development Service at The Ministry of Family and Social Inclusion and President of the Association of Special Education Professionals in Cape Verde

“The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25th) is a date of great importance. With the focus on contributing to the promotion of a culture of respect for women, as recognized by the United Nations.
For me, living without violence is a right. Women in situations of violence need to know that they are not alone and that, because it is a social problem, there are laws and public policies to protect them.
Each of us must fight to break the cycle of violence against women and promote justice and equal rights

Diaka Camara


Communicator, journalist, entertainer and entrepreneur.  Head of the CBC Worldwide COM & PROD agency

“November 25th represents the international day against violence against women and the beginning of the 16 days of activism. For me, the day amplifies the work of exceptional people worldwide in the fight against gender-based violence and gender equality. However, it is also a reminder to people that the battle is still going on, and we must not forget that every minute of the day, a woman or girl is being abused, and we must do everything in our power to end the violence”.


Melene Rossouw

South Africa

Attorney, Gender Rights Activist and Founder of Women Lead Movement

“Violence against women is a pervasive, complex, and entrenched challenge in most countries across the world. Though it has many contributing factors the root cause of gender based violence is gender inequality. These unequal power relations have for eons subjected women and girls to unfair discrimination, violation of their human rights, marginalisation, objectification, and oppression. What we need is a comprehensive and inclusive approach to deal with GBV which cuts across justice, health, economic, political and social sectors. As a society we must challenge and disrupt patriarchy together with its toxic social, cultural and religious norms that directly and indirectly perpetuates violence against women. We must influence and change the mindsets, attitudes and behaviour that leads to violence and here our focus must be on young boys and men


Amina Izarouken


Militant feminist who has recently worked in certain groups that have flourished in the wake of the “hirak”, such as FACE (Femme Algérienne pour le Changement pour l’Égalité

The 25th of November should exist throughout the year to stop existing… Violence against women is a crime against humanity as a whole that continues to this day and everywhere in the world. Let’s not be complicit with our silence in the face of atrocities, let’s break the silence and stand together.



Mariama Abdou Gado


Medical Dr |Blogger| Advocate for Youth, Girls & Women

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women means that billions of women all over the world are living in fear, with judgments & stereotypes, that they are discriminated for being females.
It reminds us that we have to heighten our actions in promoting gender equality at all levels.
Saying that we want to eliminate violence against Women is saying that it isn’t acceptable that the largest Population of the world, representing it biggest potential is underestimated & mistreated.
Saying that we want to eliminate violence against Women is also investing in financing the implementation of Women’s agenda in our countries.
Women are strong, bold, intelligent, powerful & have their words to say and cards to play at any level.
I have Hope that in the next years we will win and we will no longer need an International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women because every woman everywhere is respected, free & happy.”

Sulaima Ishaq M. Elkhalifa Sharif


Director of Combating Violence Against Women & Children Unit

“Since the 25th of October my country and my dreams were hijacked, but it Still as many Sudanese Women we will keep the fight for equality access to justice and peaceful communities, services that are equal to our economic contributions we are the backbone of this country we had changed the 3 decades dictatorship and we will remain to make another chapter of history we will make our right for equality a top political agenda and we will win the battle we had aspired the whole world and we will keep it up for us for all African women and for Women all over the world


Rajae El Khamsi


Reasearch professor at the Mohamed V >University of Rabat and expert in gender, migration, feminism and identity

“The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a time to remember that violence against women throughout the world is a structural problem present in the private and public spheres and affects all areas, from the physical, sexual and psychological to the economic, political and cultural, because the personal is political. Let us eradicate it so that there is justice and equality between women and men and so that in the future there will be no need to celebrate this day”.


Lubna Tahtamouni


Professor Dep. of Biology and Biotechnology Faculty of Science The Hashemite University

“Women, who face violence on a daily basis, are the major victims of all forms of violence, economic, verbal, physical…etc. Women-based violence is usually complex and multi-dimensional, and as such, our approach to eliminate it should be multi-dimensional as well. It should begin with the upbringing in the family, changing the typical stereotyped image of the relationship between genders and their roles, teaching our kids and youth about equality and non-discrimination. Moreover, education and awareness about these issues should start at the pre-school level and never stop. Most importantly, laws that defend the aggressor and protect him should be re-written or even deleted once and for all. We as women should support each other and have each other’s back, we should stand strongly united”.

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