The Uncommon Man

November 24, 2006

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

via Family Violence Prevention Fund

Thanksgiving weekend marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, which since 1991 has sent a powerful worldwide message that gender-based violence violates basic human rights. This year, events begin on November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and continue through December 10, International Human Rights Day.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence
calls for eliminating all forms of violence against women by establishing a link between local and international anti-violence work, providing a forum for organizers to develop and share strategies, demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world who are organizing against gender-based violence, and creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises to eliminate violence against women.

In 15 years, some 1,700 organizations in 130 countries have participated. This year, in just one example of the activities around the world, the One Man Can Campaign in South Africa will use the Family Violence Prevention Fund’s Coaching Boys Into Men materials to encourage stakeholders – coaches, teachers, parents and others – to take action to stop domestic and sexual violence. Organized by the Sonke Gender Justice Network, One Man Can includes a toolkit with stickers, posters, fact sheets and more to help men support survivors of violence, use the law to demand justice, educate children, and challenge other men to take action.

Link to HIV/AIDS

“For the Health of Women, For the Health of the World: No More Violence,” is the theme of the 16 Days campaign this year, chosen to put a focus on connections between violence against women and HIV/AIDS. Addressing violence is essential both to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS and to address the epidemic’s disproportionate impact on women and children. Violence or fear of violence can prevent women and girls from protecting themselves from infection, negotiating safer sex, seeking counseling, getting tested or returning for test results, or getting treatment if they are HIV positive.

The Global AIDS Alliance has developed a new resource to help activists highlight the intersection of HIV/AIDS and violence against women and children. Its Activist Toolkit provides an overview of the 16 Days campaign, the intersection of violence and HIV/AIDS, and a list of action ideas. It is available at www.globalaidsalliance.org/docs/WAD_16_Days_Activist_Toolkit.pdf.

UN Support

“Violence against women causes untold misery, harms families across generations, and impoverishes communities,” United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a statement for International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. “It stops women from fulfilling their potential, restricts economic growth, and undermines development…”

“We in the United Nations must play a stronger, better coordinated and more visible leadership role,” Annan added. “Member States must do more to implement the international legal and policy framework to which they have committed themselves. And all of us must form strong and effective partnerships with civil society.”

The 16 Days Campaign is organized by the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University. For more information on activities, to request an action kit or join an electronic conversation, visit www.cwgl.rutgers.edu/16days/about.html. The Secretary-General’s message for International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is available at www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sgsm10738.doc.htm.

Posted by Daniel at November 24, 2006 05:29 PM

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