16 Days of activism against gender-based Violence | Invest to prevent violence against Women & Girls

WHAT IS THE 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM?

The 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence is an international campaign that commenced on the 25th of November this year, marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. With the campaign running until Human Rights Day on the 10th of December, it is set to be 16 days to ‘UNITE! – invest to prevent violence against women and girls’. The 16 Days of Activism campaign began in 1991 at the inauguration of the Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and was later supported when the United Nations Secretary-General launched the UNITE by 2030 campaign in 2008, which sets to End Violence against Women.

At WeAreTheCity we are taking on this year’s theme to ‘UNiTE! Invest To Prevent Violence against Women & Girls’. By using #NoExcuse as a slogan and hashtag, the campaign calls for financing different prevention strategies and transforming social norms to end violence against women and girls. 16 days of Activism, and the #NoExcuse campaign, is an opportunity for citizens to express their concern and share the actions that they are taking to create a world free from violence towards women and girls. Whilst also proving there is #NoExcuse for governmental failures, the 16 Days of Activism directly calls on governments worldwide to publicly share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.

WHAT IS GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE?

Gender-based violence is violence directed against a person because of that person’s gender or violence that affects persons of a particular gender disproportionately. Gender-based violence, whether it be sexual, physical, verbal, psychological, emotional, or socio-economic, is a phenomenon deeply rooted in gender inequality and occurs both in private and in public. Although gender-based violence can affect any gender, systemic gender inequality has led to disproportionate rates of violence against women and girls, making it one of the modern world’s most prevalent human rights violations, taking place every day, many times over, in every corner of the world.

Despite many countries passing laws to combat violence against women, weak enforcement and discriminatory social norms remain significant problems. Globally, an estimated 736 million women — almost one in three — have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both, at least once in their lives. The scale of its impact, both in the lives of individuals and families and society, is immeasurable. Conditions created by humanitarian, health, and environmental crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts, and climate change have further intensified violence against women and girls, exacerbated existing challenges and generated new and emerging threats.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Big changes happen when movements begin. No matter how small you may think your voice is, it will prove vital in growing the movement and shared experiences of gender-based violence against women and girls. Get on social media, speak up in your workplace, and empower other women to break the silence on violence. Create a safe space for those women and girls around you to share their experiences to consider women’s diverse realities. Understanding how different women’s realities overlap and influence their experiences of violence allows for more effective strategies and prevents overlooking vulnerabilities.

WHO TO FOLLOW? (Instagram)

@CheerUpLuv – Award winning photo campaign & platform tackling sexual harassment & misogyny. 16 days of Activism guide to becoming an activist.

@PCVC_2000 – A domestic violence service provider in India posting vital information and resources on international gender-based violence.

@DangerousFemales – Official charity, selling 100% profit tees, having raised $400k+ raised since 2018.

@ChalkBackorg – an international youth-led chalk art movement against street harassment.

@WhiteRibbonUK – Non-profit organisation working with men and boys to end men’s violence against women and girls to #ChangeTheStory

DONATE TO ORGANISATIONS/CHARITIES

Donate to White Ribbon UK.

White Ribbon UK is the leading charity working with men and boys to end men’s violence against women and girls. The work of the White Ribbon movement aims to empower men to challenge harmful cultures and restrictive gender norms so women can live full lives, unrestricted by the fear of violence. Providing spaces to talk about White Ribbon’s aims in schools, at work, and with your friends, is an incredibly powerful way to affect change.

Donate to International Rescue Committee

To change the world, start with women and girls. Women and girls face discrimination, violence, and a lack of equal opportunities. Donate today and support life-changing work in more than 50 countries worldwide. It costs £54 to help someone recover from the effects of gender-based violence. Any amount you give today can go towards providing critical and timely care for women and girls who are survivors of sexual assault.

Donate to Women For Women

Women for Women International was established in 1993 to help survivors of sexual violence during the 1992 – 1995 conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the belief that stronger women build stronger nations. We continue to work with the most socially excluded women in countries affected by conflict across the world. Join the #SheDares global movement by supporting courageous women survivors of war who stand up for their rights despite the risks. Your generous donation will help provide women living in some of the world’s most dangerous places with the social and economic skills to transform their lives. They will pass on this knowledge to those around them, helping other women realise their power.

RESOURCES

FAQs: Types of Violence against women and girls – by UN WOMEN

What is gender-based violence – and how do we prevent it? – By the International Rescue Committee

Facts and figures: Ending Violence against women – by UN WOMEN

Ten ways to prevent violence against women and girls – by UN WOMEN

About the author

MA Law Student, BA Politics & IR and Invisible Illness Campaigner. Mia Vallely has a BA Politics from the University of Nottingham and is currently studying Law at the University of Law, London.  She writes on current affairs, UK politics, human rights and geopolitical events.  

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