International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was established byUnited Nations General Assembly, which in 1998 established internationalization on November 25th to commemorate women victims of gender-based violence and, later on December 17th 1999 with Resolution 54/134, established the International Day. THEon November 25th was chosen to commemorate the brutal murder of the three Mirabal sisters, murdered in Malcedo, Dominican Republic, on this day in 1960. The three women were active opponents of the regime of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, the dictator who kept the country in a state of backwardness and chaos for over 30 years. The three young women, Patria Mercedes, Maria Argentina Minerva and Antonia Maria Teresa Mirabal, were stopped, tortured and brutally murdered on the road by a group of agents of the Military Information Service on their way to visit their husbands, held in prison for the their activities against the Trujillist regime. Their bodies were then thrown with their car off a cliff to simulate an accident. The murder of "Le farfalle" (this was the codename of the three sisters) triggered however a strong popular reaction which resulted, in 1961, in the killing of Trujillo and then in the end of the dictatorship.
Awareness actions against violence against women often use as a symbol red shoes, from time to time worn or publicly exposed. The custom comes from a famous public art project, created by the Mexican artist Elina Chauvet and entitled, precisely, "Zapatos Rojos", which means red shoes. It consists of hundreds of pairs of women's shoes of all shapes and colors, gathered by word of mouth or through social media, and placed neatly along an urban path, to symbolize the silent march of absent women or the impossibility of expressing their suffering.