25 November – why just protect women once?

25 November is The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The United Nations chose this day as it coincides with the murder of the Mirabal sisters in Santo Domingo in 1960. They were killed because they opposed Rafael Leónidas Trujillo’s dictatorship.

Since then, women’s lives have changed – not always necessarily for the better. If we focus on Italy, over the last five years 2,435,000 women were the victims of physical or sexual abuse, 11.3%, between the ages of 16 and 70. Shocking numbers. A woman is killed every three days in Italy. All in all, we’re facing an indescribable social plague. The country is awash with rhetoric hailing the good old values, traditional families, with referenda aiming to curtail the rights of women; men, as the pater familias, continue exercising their base violence on women – relentlessly and without being punished. A clear and dreadful sign of how men are devolving, while they should be evolving, and respect and thrive in the diversity of other people, nature, and civil living side by side. We’re in the 21st century and we still have to work so hard to achieve harmonious living between men and women, between our own beliefs and those of others. Every day should be 25 November, so that women stop living their lives in fear, as poet Chandra Livia Candiani wrote: “I don’t want to learn not to fear. I want to learn how to tremble. I don’t want to learn to be quiet. I want to embrace the silence from which every true word sprouts.” For a true word is a free word.