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The Unforgettable Butterflies

Anyone who has read Julia Alvarez's novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, knows of the Mirabel sisters, three women from the Dominican Republic who were assassinated for their political activism in the 1960s. Known as the “Unforgettable Butterflies," they became a symbol of the crisis of violence against women in Latin America. November 25th, the date of their assassination, was chosen to commemorate their lives and promote global recognition of the pandemic of gender-based violence.

The date has been observed in Latin America since the 1980s and became the internationally designated Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in 1991. In activist circles, it marks the beginning of the 16 days of Activism against gender-based violence, which includes December 1, World Aids Day, December 6th, the anniversary of the Montreal massacre, and ends on December 10, International Human Rights Day, emphasizing such violence as a human rights violation.

As the end of the year holidays approach for many of us, I find this initiative an important reminder of how much work there is to be done to fight for women’s empowerment worldwide.


jadefrank's picture

Mirabel Sisters


Thank you for reminding up of this important date, when the Mirabel sisters were assassinated. Yes, I read this beautiful, empowering and tragic story written by Julia Alvarez, but I was not aware of the holiday in Latin America and how widespread their message has reached across Latin America. What an important story and commemoration to remind people of violence against women. Thank you for telling us of this and reminding us that today is the Day for Elimination of Violence against Women.

This upcoming week is a good time to reflect on all the work there is to be done in AIDS and human rights abuses, two major issues that women fall victim to more often than men. You're right, there is still so much work to be done to fight for women's empowerment. I am so glad to be in contact with women like you who are such ambassadors for awareness.

Thank you.


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