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International Day of Non-Violence

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. October 4, 2022
International Day of Non-Violence

It may seem to you that having a day for non-violence seems redundant. In an ideal world, every day would be non-violent. Unfortunately, there are violent altercations happening all over the world at any given time. Devastating conflicts are still raging, despite our collective experience of war and how it affects us both societally and personally. Violence is not limited to war. None of us are very far from it. There are places where less violence occurs and this is due to the resistance of certain people who have led the pacificist charge of non-violence. It is from these examples that we may be able to find some hope for a peaceful future.

At oneHOWTO, we want to share the message about the International Day of Non-Violence. By sharing the meaning and history of the event, we can see why a reminder is so important. We also provide practical information on when International Day of Non-Violence is observed.

You may also be interested in: When Is International Friendship Day Celebrated?
  1. When is the International Day of Non-Violence?
  2. Why is the International Day of Non-Violence observed?
  3. How is the International Day of Non-Violence observed?

When is the International Day of Non-Violence?

2nd October is the date decreed by the United Nations Organization (UN) for the observance of the International Day of Non-Violence. This date was chosen in honor of one of the world's most preeminent leaders of non-violent movements, Mahatma Ghandi. The history of the International Day of Non-Violence begins with this person of extreme historical importance.

Mahatma Ghandi was the leader of the Indian independence movement during the first half of the 20th century. Not only did Ghandi spread a message of non-violence, he helped to create a movement which has non-violence as its greatest force. By extension, he was able to show that humanity has non-violent options at its disposal which are more powerful than the most violent weapons of destruction men have created.

The decree fixing October 2nd as the International Day of Non-Violence was approved on June 15th, 2007. Since this date, the UN organizes cultural activities every year to promote a culture of peace, understanding and tolerance among all citizens of the world.

Why is the International Day of Non-Violence observed?

As much as the world's problems can be solved by non-violent means, we have consistently chosen violent options to resolve our disputes. The world is still submerged in a dynamic of increasingly aggressive violence. Although war and armed conflicts are still rampant, violence is pervasive in many aspects of society.

Many people die each year from some violent act. The most common types are gender violence or violence against women, religious violence, racial violence, homophobic violence and, to a lesser extent, criminal violence. In some countries, homicide is a leading cause of death. According the the Pew Research Center, more Americans died of gun-related injuries in 2020 than in any other year on record[1], an implication that things may need to get worse before they get better.

The reasons why people resort to violence is often due to a lack of tolerance and empathy, as well as little understanding of others. Among all the types of violence that exist, that of gender violence or violence against women is the one that has had the greatest resurgance in recent years.

The UN estimates that of the women who die worldwide due to some violent act carried out by someone else, 58% of deaths were carried out by their partner or a member of their family. This equates to a woman or girl being killed in their home somewhere in the world every 11 minutes[2]. This is an estimation and does not account for unreported killings.

It cannot be said that all violence ends in death. For example, many women are raped or harassed in violent ways. They are also harassed and verbally insulted by their oppressors. These actions are constant forms of violence against women which perpetuate their trauma. Since violence against women disproportionately affects low- and lower-middle-income countries and regions, it is often very difficult for women to extricate themselves from cycles of violence.

Some of us may think that the International Day of Non-Violence is celebrated, but its purpose is not a celebration. It is more accurate to say this day is observed. The main purpose of this observance of International Day of Non-Violence us to educate and spread awareness. Too many of us see violence as the only option at our disposal. The truth is that violence begets more violence and the perpetuation of violence harms everyone, including aggressors.

The recent statistical increases in figures related to the different types of violence makes it essential that we do what we can to stop violence. Although it is only one part of a larger campaign which needs to treat the problem of violence at the source, observing International Day of Non-Violence every October 2nd can help us combine efforts and is

International Day of Non-Violence - Why is the International Day of Non-Violence observed?

How is the International Day of Non-Violence observed?

Beyond exposing the statistics on cases of violence that have occurred around the world, the International Day of Non-Violence can be observed in many ways. Disseminating these statistical data is a good way to try to make as many people as possible aware of the seriousness of this problem that affects globally.

In addition, explaining the importance of nonviolence and the great power it has is essential. By doing so, we can increase the probability of living in a more tolerant, peaceful and understanding world. It is particularly important to promote these in various institutions.

In schools, we can prepare classes which explain the history of non-violence as well as why it is important to promote. In prisons, we can help foster non-violence in places where violence is a part of everyday life. We can also use this as an opportunity to promote non-violence with political leaders, police and others who have a direct impact on the promotion of violence.

The resolution of conflicts of any kind is possible through dialogue and understanding, so the International Day of Non-Violence is a date used to emphasize these mechanisms. Violence should never be a resource to solve a problem. It is the main cause of other larger problems. Holding public events to raise awareness of this idea is another way to celebrate this day.

Now that you know better when the Day of Non-Violence is celebrated, we recommend looking at our related internationally observed days which can help promote peace. Specifically, you can find out more about when International Friendship Day is celebrated or when is National Siblings Day?

If you want to read similar articles to International Day of Non-Violence, we recommend you visit our Festivities & Celebrations category.


1. Gramlich, J. (2022). What the data says about gun deaths in the U.S. Retrieved from:

2. UN Women. (2022). Facts and figures: Ending violence against women. Retrieved from:

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International Day of Non-Violence