What are the 16 Days Of Activism against gender-based violence?

Person wearing shirt with writing on it 'women'

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
– Anne Frank

Here at Samaritans, we are keenly aware of the impacts of gender-based violence in our community.

It’s not just an issue that impacts Australia.

Gender-based violence is a worldwide issue and impacts countless women daily. In a 2018 report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Australia got a small glimpse into the issues we have with violence against women.

1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted and/or threatened since the age of 15.

1 in 6 women experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a current or previous partner.

We need more awareness and education on these issues so we can begin to break the cycle and work towards reducing and eliminating violence against women. The 16 Days of Activism is one such campaign shining a light on these issues.

What is the history behind the 16 Days of Activism campaign?

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is a worldwide campaign which was launched by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. Throughout the length of the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute, 23 women from across the globe joined to discuss the various aspects of gender-based violence.

The Institution developed various strategies to increase international awareness of the issues surrounding gender-based violence, particularly relating to the systemic nature of the abuse of and the violation of women’s rights.

One of the strategies resulting from the Institution was the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, which links November 25th (International Day Against Violence Against Women) and December 10th (International Human Rights Day). It took a massive amount of work from dedicated women within the Institute to get the campaign of the ground. From modest origins of a petition circulated worldwide to a widely known campaign, the 16 Days of Activism helps to increase people’s awareness of the UN human right’s system, in particular violence against women.

What is this year’s theme for the 16 Days of Activism?

The theme for 2018 is End Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work. This theme seeks to target institutions where gender-based violence occurs regularly, and push for these institutions to change their policies.

How can I participate in the 16 Days of Activism campaign? 

The first step is already started! You’re learning about the campaign and its importance to our global community.

There are several ways you can participate in the 16 Days of Activism. Becoming educated on violence against women and educating those around you is extremely important – The UN offer some specific resources for those looking to learn more about violence against women.

Speak up: Starting conversations are one of the best places to start with activism. These conversations can start with those around you – in your home, in your workplace, with your friends. Wherever. The important thing is that you start the conversation somewhere.  This month’s CEO social justice blog is centred on White Ribbon Day and the 16 Days of Activism. Take a read as a starting point for what you can do to make an impact during the 16 Days of Activism.

For inspiration on activism activities in Newcastle & the Hunter, take a look at our Facebook page.