Gender equality an important message for all 

TOMORROW is the international day for the elimination of violence against women.

It falls on November 25 annually, marking the anniversary of the deaths of sisters Patria, María and Antonia Mirabal – all of whom were assassinated in the Dominican Republic on the orders of ruler Rafael Trujillo in 1960 because they fought hard to end his dictatorship. 

Tomorrow is also White Ribbon Day, which started after a man walked into a Canadian university and massacred 14 of his female classmates in 1989.

Two years after that event, a group of men in Toronto started an annual violence against women campaign and in 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, with the white ribbon as its symbol.

The White Ribbon campaign reached Australia in 2003 and events are held across the country during this week every year.

But while both of those horrific occasions were some time ago and there have been significant efforts to change community attitudes, we still have a long way to go.

Reports of family violence are far too high – it is still happening far too often.

And it almost always relates to gender inequality and control.

We need to be working with young people and educating them about gender equality and equal relationships.

And we need men to let other men know that misogynistic and controlling behaviour is not OK.

Until we do that, we are only continuing the cycle.

It’s time for it to stop.

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