The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign is an international campaign that originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Rutgers Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) in 1991. The 16 Days extends from November 25th- International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women– and December 10th- International Human Rights Day. The Campaign links the two days together by connecting violence against women and human rights to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights. The 16 Days Campaign calls for the elimination of violence against women by:
• Raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at local, national, and international levels
• Strengthen and promote local work around violence against women in our immediate communities
• Demonstrate the solidarity of women throughout the international community by organizing against violence against women
• Creating strategies to pressure governments to implement their pledges to eliminate violence against women.
The theme this year is “Structures of Violence: Defining the Intersections of Militarism and Violence Against Women.” The CWGL defines militarism as an ideology that creates a culture of fear and supports the use of violence, aggression, or military interventions for settling disputes and enforcing economic and political interests.
The goal of reducing militarism introduces genuine security to communities around the world that have experience grave human rights violations against both women and men.
Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said in his remarks on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women that it’s time for everyone to unite together on this issue, especially the corporate/business world, who haven’t been as engaged in the past:
“Today is a call to action – action to eliminate Violence against Women. There has been real progress. Across the world, people are mobilizing to stop the abuse of women and girls. This is no longer just the concern of women’s organizations. More and more people realize that gender-based violence is everybody’s problem and that everybody is responsible for stopping it. This year’s observance highlights how business leaders can contribute.”
Read his full remarks here.
Whether you are a member of the business community, a student, a young professional, or retired, here are several ways you can get involved in the campaign and learn more:
- Follow 16 Days Campaign activities on Twitter through the real time search #16 Days
- Download the CWGL Take Action Toolkit and hold your own awareness event. You can find additional events in your area here.
- Follow on the CWGL Facebook Page
- Check out UNiTE to End Violence against Women and the 16 Ways UNFPA Works to End Gender Violence
- Donate to the UN Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women which is the only multilateral grant-making mechanism exclusively devoted to supporting local and national efforts to end violence against women and girls, by texting UNITE to 27722 from US cell phones to give $10
This Thanksgiving we were able to reflect the things we are thankful for. Let’s do all we can to add the elimination of gender violence to that list!