International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 25 November

In 1999 the United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November  as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize on that day activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem. 

Two years before, in 1997 "How come, how long" song was written, produced and performed by Babyface as a duet with American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder, who also co-wrote the song. The lyrics deal with domestic violence and is inspired by  Nicole Brown Simpson's  case. The music video for this song, directed by F. Gary Gray, shows several people in the same building ignoring the shouts and screams and multiple fights between a married couple, ending with a twist, showing that the woman killed her abusive husband, ending with her being arrested. This video received a nomination for Best R&B Video at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards. 

Unfortunately, twenty years later, one in three women and girls experience violence in their lifetime. It happens in every country and every society. It happens at home, in schools, on the streets, at work and  on the internet. 

What can teachers do? My proposal  to collaborate to stop the cycle of violence against girls and women is based on this beautiful song and the high-quality video story F. Gary Gray directed:

You will need to download the handout for your students  and the lyrics of the song.  

(The handout above includes a writing task which you may choose to collect from students for correction  after the classroom session is over)

The first step to ending violence is to break the silence. I hope this meaningful song will help all of us to take this first step. 

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