On November 25 we celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This date was chosen after the horrible deaths of three Dominican sisters who were fighting to have a country free of dictatorship back in 1960. According to the UN, 35% of women and girls globally experience some form of physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime with up to seven in ten women facing this abuse in some countries. It is estimated that up to 30 million girls under the age of 15 remain at risk from FGM/C, and more than 130 million girls and women have undergone the procedure worldwide.

Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children, 250 million of whom were married before the age of 15. Girls who marry before the age of 18 are less likely to complete their education and more likely to experience domestic violence and complications in childbirth. Today we join the fight for the elimination of violence against women, and we share some powerful quotes that will make you think on the matter.

“We must unite. Violence against women cannot be tolerated, in any form, in any context, in any circumstance, by any political leader or by any government.” - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

“I think we’re at a time where people just want to join together and cause change. People don't want to live like this any more.” - UN Messenger of Peace Charlize Theron

“There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.” - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

“Men must teach each other that real men do not violate or oppress women – and that a woman’s place is not just in the home or the field, but in schools and offices and boardrooms.” - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

“More and more leaders around the world are joining the struggle. More and more individuals understand that any abuse of any woman is intolerable.” - Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro

“Nowhere in the world is a woman safe from violence. The strengthening of global commitment to counteract this plague is a movement whose time has come.” - Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro

“All forms of violence against women must stop – from the use of rape as a weapon of war to the use of violence by a husband to terrorize his wife within her own home.” - Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro

“Nobody believes that domestic violence kills and nobody believes it is detrimental to children. This world has got to wake up. To me, if there is domestic violence, if the children see it or hear it, that to me is detrimental. Batterers should not have rights to children.” - Denise Brown

“Sexual, racial, gender violence and other forms of discrimination and violence in a culture cannot be eliminated without changing culture.” - Charlotte Bunch

“We can all take responsibility for helping to bring about change, and keeping our friends and colleagues safe from domestic violence.” - Charles Clarke

“No woman has to be a victim of physical abuse. Women have to feel like they are not alone.” - Salma Hayek

“There is a subconscious way of taking violence as a way of expression, as a normality, and it has a lot of effects in the youth in the way they absorb education and what they hope to get out of life.” - Salma Hayek

“One in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime. This is an appalling human rights violation, yet it remains one of the invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time.” - Nicole Kidman

“We have to promote human solidarity, avoid indifference, and play a part with society in the solution of the problem of violence...” - Shakira