Violence Against Women Day is celebrated on November 25th in homage to the Mirabal sisters

Three women. Three courageous heroines who paid for their battle for freedom with their lives. Their names were Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabal. They were brutally killed on November 25, 1960, in the Dominican Republic. This was the episode that gave rise to the day dedicated to violence against women. After that massacre, many countries joined in the commemoration and the United Nations General Assembly, in 1999, decided to establish a symbolic date.

What happened on November 25, 1960

The Miraball sisters were born between 1924 and 1935. Since they were little girls they fought against the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. They founded the “June 14 Revolutionary Movement”, with which they called for democracy for the Dominican people and rights for all women. Trujillo’s regime was one of the bloodiest in Latin American history. The dictator, as Mirtha Mella, president, tells us of the ProMueve RD -Aps association, had shown interest in one of the sisters, Minerva. In October 1949 she organized a private party at her home and expressly asked the family for the girl’s presence. Minerva participated but when Trujillo asked her for her opinion on the dictatorship, Minerva openly challenged him, supporting her own political ideas.

The Mirabal Sisters Massacre

Trujillo decided he had to get rid of the three sisters and planned their assassination to make it look like an accident. So on November 25, 1960, while Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabasi went to visit their husbands in prison, they fell into an ambush by agents of the military secret service: the massacred bodies of the three sisters were thrown into a ravine.

On November 25, 1981, the first Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Meeting was held in Bogota, during which this anniversary was chosen as the “International Day against Violence against Women”. In 1999 the United Nations extended this initiative to the whole world.