New Brunswick, NJ, November 19, 2015— On November 25, 2015, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) will launch the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. Along with over 5,478 organizations and other participants from 187 countries and territories, CWGL is calling for an end to gender-based violence and accountability on the part of policymakers and community members to end violence, discrimination, and inequality. Participants planning actions during the 16-day period include: Mother of Hope (Cameroon), Yayasan Gender Harmony (Indonesia), Union of Food and Commercial Workers Local 247 (Canada), CongoInThePicture (Democratic Republic of Congo), Tadwein (Egypt), Women's Aid (Ireland), AWID, UNHCR, and UNWomen, among many more.
The 16 Days Campaign begins on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25) and ends on International Human Rights Day (December 10) and emphasizes that gender-based violence in its many forms is a human rights violation. Responding to the increased violence against education, especially of young girls and women, the 2015 Campaign theme, From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All recognizes that education is a public good and a fundamental human right recognized in Article 26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and upheld in various international and regional human rights conventions and treaties.
In 2014, global military spending stood at $1.8 trillion, while experts cite a $26 billion financing gap to achieve basic education for all by end of 2015. Children and young people of all genders can face further disadvantage due to disability, race or ethnic origin, economic difficulties and family whether in times of violent conflict, after an environmental disaster, or during relative peacetime. Girls and young women face early marriage or forced marriage that can cut short their education; the threat of different forms of school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV), including sexual violence and abuse on the way or within education settings; and discrimination in the availability of essential infrastructure such as adequate and safely accessible sanitary facilities.
“The political, economic, and social implications of the right to and denial of education must be at the forefront of the agenda for policymakers, communities, and concerned individuals. When we have women, girls, people with disabilities, LGBTQI people, migrants, and indigenous people denied the right to education in safe and equal spaces, we as a world community stand to lose. It is imperative that for gender-based violence to end, we work to end all forms of discrimination.” says Krishanti Dharmaraj, Executive Director of CWGL, global coordinator of the 16 Days Campaign.
Many events are planned worldwide to shed light on the impacts of the global arms trade and militarism on communities across the globe and to call for an end to gender-based violence, including:
- In Bangkok, Thailand, CHOMP The Comfort Café will be running weekly events including screenings, discussions, presentations, real life accounts and an art exhibit entitled “A Girl of November” by Thai artist Tinna Hongngam;
- The theatre group Madalenas Nepal/Mandala Theatre, in Kathmandu, Nepal is organizing three flash mob-style performances to bring attention to violence against women and girls as a social problem and global epidemic;
- In Waterford, Ireland, the Waterford Traveller Community Health Project is hosting an exhibition of an art project on domestic violence produced by Traveller Women.
The 16 Days Campaign is a powerful platform to educate the public and governments about gender-based violence, human rights, and the intersections of political, economic, and social realities.