International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

The United Nations began campaigning to end violence against women decades ago, but its efforts gained little traction — until the outpouring of allegations of sexual misconduct against powerful men in Hollywood, the U.S. Congress and boardrooms put the issue on front pages and TV screens around the world.

The U.N. women’s agency now hopes to capitalize on the spotlight.

“This is the moment!” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the executive director of UN Women, said in an interview ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Nov. 25. “It really has to come out of the woodwork.”

In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated Nov. 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in honor of Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabal — three of four sisters who were Dominican political dissidents — murdered by order of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo on Nov. 25, 1960.

Here’s a look at rallies around the world that took place in an effort to raise awareness of the global plight of women subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence. (AP/Shutterstock/Getty Images)

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Paris

A protester wears a Phrygian cap during a demonstration for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Thibault Camus/AP)

Rome

Women protest during the national demonstration for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, in Rome on Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

Gijon, Spain

A woman holds a banner that reads “There is no little aggression” during a gathering held in Gijon, northern Spain, on occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Alberto Morante/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Istanbul, Turkey

Protesters hold placards as they march during a demonstration to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Istanbul, Turkey, on Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images)

Lausanne, Switzerland

Women demonstrate during a rally #MeToo against gender-based and sexual violence against women on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Lausanne, Switzerland, Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Laurent Gillieron/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Lisbon, Portugal

Two elderly women hold banners with the words “I’m not your property” (right) and “No to the violence in relationship” (center) as another woman holds another with the words “growing equal” during a demonstration marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Lisbon, Portugal, Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Antonio Cotrim/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Istanbul, Turkey

A woman takes part in a protest on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Istanbul, Turkey, Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Erdem Sahin/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Budapest, Hungary

Participants carry women-shaped cardboard cutouts during a demonstration marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Budapest, Hungary, Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Marton Monus/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Rome, Italy

A woman with a Venus symbol for female painted on her forehead takes part in a demonstration to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Rome on Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)

Paris, France

Femen activists attend a demonstration for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Thibault Camus/AP)

Rome, Italy

People hold signs and pink balloons during a demonstration to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Rome on Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)

Oviedo, Spain

A boy looks at the shoes of another murdered child during performance organized by the NGO International Amnesty on the World Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women at the town hall square of Oviedo, northern Spain, Nov. 25, 2017. The banner reads: “Daniel Garcia-Bustamante Rosado, 29/03/2017-8 years. Campo de Criptana (Castilla La Mancha) Killed by his father together with his sister and mother”. (Photo: Eloy Alonso/Reuters)

Rome, Italy

Women take part in a march marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, in Rome, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Gregorio Borgia/AP)

Rome, Italy

Women take part in a march marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, in Rome, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Gregorio Borgia/AP)

Paris, France

A protestor shouts slogans during a demonstration for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Thibault Camus/AP)

Geneva, Switzerland

Swans glide past as the 140m height landmark Fountain of Geneva (called “Jet d’Eau” in French) is illuminated in orange to commemorate United Nations-backed International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Nov. 25, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

Rome, Italy

A woman shouts slogans during a march as part of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, in Rome, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Gregorio Borgia/AP)

Bilbao, Spain

Protesters carry torches and walk behind a banner reading “Your truth is Ours. Our Word Counts” during a demonstration on the World Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Bilbao, northern Spain, Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Vincent West/Reuters)

Brussels, Belgium

Women participate in the National Feminist demonstration on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga via ZUMA Press)

Valparaiso, Chile

Members of feminist organizations rally against gender violence on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, in Valparaiso, Chile, Nov. 24, 2017. (Photo: Rodrigo Garrido/Reuters)

Oviedo, Spain

People are covered with red umbrellas to commemorate the victims of gender violence during the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Oviedo, northern Spain, on Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Eloy Alonso/Reuters)

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

A woman holds a candle during a demonstration on the eve of the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, in Santo Domingo on Nov. 24, 2017. (Photo: Erika Santelices/AFP/Getty Images)

Athens, Greece

The Greek parliament is illuminated in orange for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, on Nov. 25, 2017 in Athens. (Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images)

Gaza City, Gaza

Palestinian women stage a solidarity protest against Israeli violations against women in Jerusalem, within the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women events on Nov. 23, 2017 in Gaza City, Gaza. (Photo: Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Madrid, Spain

A woman holds a placard reading “Justice” during a demonstration to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Nov. 25, 2017, at the Puerta del Sol square in Madrid. (Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

Valparaiso, Chile

Members of feminist organizations rally against gender violence on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, in Valparaiso, Chile, Nov. 24, 2017. (Photo: Rodrigo Garrido/Reuters)

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

An activist holds purple balloons at El Navajo creek, where the bodies of several women were found, during a ceremony to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Praxedis G. Guerrero, on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Nov. 24, 2017. (Photo: Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)

Hyderabad, India

Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj (L) along with the employees of South Central Railways take part in a rally on the eve of the United Nations (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Hyderabad on Nov. 24, 2017. (Photo: Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images)

Sao Paulo, Brazil

A crosss with a sign reading “Enough of Femicide” is pictured next to women during the rally on the World Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo: Nacho Doce/Reuters)

San Salvador, El Salvador

Women participate in a demonstration to commemorate the U.N. International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in San Salvador, El Salvador, Nov. 24, 2017. (Photo: Jose Cabezas/Reuters)

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Carmen Castillo (R) holds a picture of her daughter Monica Delgado -killed in 2012- during a protest on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, on Nov. 24, 2017, in Juarez valley, near Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua State, Mexico. (Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP/Getty Images)