The world can often feel like a daunting place, especially when we're confronted with unsettling facts about gender-based violence. While it's easy to feel overwhelmed, there are small pockets of hope and activism that shine a light in the darkness.
One such glimmer is the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence—an international campaign that could use your unique support. In this blog, we'll softly guide you through the history, mission, and ways you can get involved in this poignant movement, beginning on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and culminating on December 10th, Human Rights Day.
Shall we dive in?
16 Days of Activism
The 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence has its roots firmly planted in the global community. Initiated in 1991 by activists at the Women's Global Leadership Institute, it has been adopted by various countries, organisations, and individuals like you and me.
The campaign commences every year on November 25th, a day specifically designated by the United Nations as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The campaign rolls on until December 10th, Human Rights Day, reminding us that freedom from violence is, at its core, a basic human right.
The mission behind this international initiative is straightforward yet deeply significant—to bring attention to the insidious nature of gender-based violence that affects one in three women worldwide. This isn't about guilt or burdening you with the weight of the world's problems; it's about opening a door to a room where we can all contribute, even if it's just by being aware and spreading the word.
Endorsements and support for this campaign come from various quarters, including government bodies, non-profit organisations, and grassroots community groups. They organise events, promote dialogue, and roll out awareness campaigns to drive home the importance of tackling this widespread issue. But it's not only large organisations that make an impact; individual contributions matter just as much.
How can I get involved?
So, now that we know a bit more about this impactful campaign, you might be wondering, “How can I get involved?” And I want to reassure you, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to this. Every effort, no matter how small, makes a difference.
- Educate Yourself and Others: The first step is awareness. Read articles, watch documentaries, and engage in conversations that foster a deeper understanding of the subject. By doing so, you become a catalyst for change.
- Use Social Media Wisely: Sharing insightful articles, stories, and resources can amplify the message. Your online platforms can be more powerful than you think.
- Attend Events Virtually or In-Person: There are numerous workshops, webinars, and panel discussions during these 16 days. Participating in these enriches your understanding and puts you in touch with like-minded individuals.
- Financial Contributions: If you're in a position to do so, donating to trustworthy organisations can have a lasting impact. Your resources can go a long way in helping survivors and campaigning for change.
- Volunteer: Offering your time can be as valuable as any financial contribution. Crisis centers, hotlines, and shelters often need volunteers, not just during these 16 days but all year round.
- Be a Compassionate Listener: Sometimes, just being there to listen when someone is ready to share their story can make a world of difference.
Pick what feels doable for you.
I understand that diving into activism can feel intimidating, especially if you're navigating your own recovery journey. But remember, you don't have to do it all. Pick what feels doable for you. If each one of us makes even a small contribution, imagine the collective wave of change we could create.
This campaign reminds us that eliminating gender-based violence is not just a women's issue; it's a human issue. And all humans have something valuable to offer. So if your heart feels called to participate, know that you are contributing to a larger tapestry of hope and change.
Let's step forward.
Not because we have to, but because we choose to be a part of something greater than ourselves. Your participation, in any form, adds a unique thread to the fabric of this campaign—a fabric that could one day provide safety and equality for all.