STOP violence against women. Conference at Ca’ Foscari on November 25th


In memory of the brutal assassination of the Mirabal sisters, killed on Nov. 25th  1960, the United Nations declared November 25th as the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women" in 1999. Violence, according to data from the WHO, that involves as much as 1 in 3 women in the world and is one of the strongest signs of gender discrimination, recognized and condemned by major international bodies.

Ca’ Foscari will be involved this year to keep attention focused on the topic through organizing the ‘International Day for the elimination of violence against women’ on November 25th from 2:00pm in the Santa Margherita Auditorium, with Orit Kamir from the Israeli Center for Human Dignity and many other guests. Two books will be presented: "Women, violence and international law" by Sara De Vido, professor of international law at Ca’ Foscari University and co-founder of Women in international law network at the Manchester International Law Center (UK) and ‘Home-Made Violence’, curated by Sara De Vido and Laura Candiotto of Ca’ Foscari, who is now Marie Curie Fellow at the university of Edinburgh, both published by Mimesis in 2016.

Participating in the conference:
Luisella Pavan-Woolfe, the European Council, Venice HQ. Elizabeth Bergamini, University of Udine. Laura Candiotto, University of Edinburgh. Sara De Vido, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Marcella Ferri, University of Bergamo. Ivana Padoan, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Luigi Vero Tarca, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Ines Testoni, University of Padua.
They will discuss domestic violence, forced marriage, violence and culture, in the light of the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe adopted in 2011 and entered into force on August 1st 2014. The debate will also be streamed through the university’s live streaming portal.


The condition of the married woman is the worst in every sense. When a woman decides to marry, give up work and look after the house and children, she starts the most dangerous occupation in the world.
Eleanor Rathbone, from a parliamentary speech on May 11th 1932

"Home-Made Violence" begins with this eloquent quote. The book’s title provocatively recalls the domestic creation of violence. Something that is "home-made" is usually genuine, healthy, simple and acquires a positive connotation because it is "homemade". In this case, however, what is done in the home is anything but positive, it is domestic violence, a complex phenomenon, which belongs to the private world, originating within a relationship - or even a former relationship. A phenomenon that was to remain obscure, except that the development of international law has overcome the "public / private" divide that prevented the identification of the precise obligations of the states with regard to the prevention and fight against domestic violence .

What are these obligations? "The Istanbul Convention requires States, for example, to ensure adequate shelters and services for females that are victims of violence and victims of assisted violence- says Sara De Vido - including devoting the necessary financial resources for this purpose. Failure to support anti-violence centers can constitute a violation of the obligations that States have assumed with ratification from the Convention ".


The data from the World Health Organization remains worrisome: one in three women in the world have suffered some form of physical or sexual violence. In many cases this is intimate partner violence, violence that comes from her husband, fiancée, boyfriend, regardless of the nature of the relationship – current or past. (WHO 2016)

At a European level, a report from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights estimated that 33 percent of women have had an experience of physical and / or sexual violence since the age of 15 years and that 8 percent suffered violence during the twelve months prior to the survey (EU Agency for fundamental rights 2014).

Even in Italy, the records are unsettling; the most recent ISTAT figures confirm the trend: 6,788,000 women, 31.5 percent of women aged between 16 to 70, were victims of some form of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. (ISTAT 2015)