Since 1991, the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (GBV) was initiated as a campaign to challenge how women and girls are treated and fight against all forms of Gender Based Violence. Since then, every year, the campaign has gathered momentum.
The themes for each year varies, and highlights on prevalent issues around Gender Based Violence (GBV). From 2011 to 2014, the theme of the campaign was ‘’From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women’’ In 2015 and 2016, the theme of the campaign was ‘’From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All’’. These past years experienced a lot of conflict all over the world, therefore the need to bring to light the issues, for increased awareness, advocacy and possible solutions.
Over the past few years, globally, there has been conflict that that increased threat to education, especially for the girl child who is most vulnerable in the face of war, conflict or natural disaster. Conflicts in South Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Nigeria and many more countries, at different levels, threatened the education of children especially the girl-child. In North-East Nigeria, where over 200 girls were kidnapped in Chibok in 2015, in Borno State, and the proliferation of violence by the Boko Haram sect, and consequent increment of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the gains on the right to, and opportunity for education for the girl-child has been drastically rolled back..
The theme for the 16 Days of Activism for 2017 is ‘’Together We Can End GBV in Education’’
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is a global campaign dedicated to raising awareness about the impact of violence, particularly on women.
The campaign starts 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and concludes 10 December, Human Rights Day. These dates were chosen in order to symbolically link violence against women with human rights issues. In particular, this campaign emphasises the fact that violence, in any form, is a violation of human rights.
Research shows that to prevent gender-based violence we need to promote positive, equal and respectful relationships. This means we need to challenge gender stereotypes, which are ideas made about people based on whether they are male or female.
Challenging gender stereotypes is such an important step in creating and promoting positive, equal and respectful relationships and making sure that our children are able to be the best versions of themselves.
Our hope is that at the end of this campaign, there would be increased awareness of GBV and together, we would have put in substantial effort towards ending GBV in education (which is the theme for this year’s campaign).
How can I get involved?
Follow our social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook page) to see all the events taking place during 16 Days of Activism, as well as getting to know the significance of each day throughout the campaign while learning about the interventions of WRAPA as regards ending GBV in Education.
Get active on social media and take photos of the ways you challenge gender stereotypes using the hashtags: #challengegenderstereotypes #16days #FreeFromViolence #ActAgainstAbuse . Show your community that violence against women starts with changing attitudes and leaving those traditional ideas of how boys and girls should act, where they belong – in the past.
Happy 16 Days of Activism from WRAPA!