By editorial intern Lauren Castner
November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women! It also marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The campaign, started by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, raises awareness of violence against women and also establishes connections between international and local organizations and furthers the development of better strategies to combat violence.
The 16 Days idea was created to place pressure on the UN to consider “gender-based violence” a violation of basic human rights. Today, more than 150 countries have participated in campaigns throughout the past 20 years, and almost 3,000 organizations have gotten involved (http://www.saynotoviolence.org/around-world/news/16-days-activism-against-gender-violence).
Last year’s campaign saw many events focusing on sex trafficking. This year’s campaign focuses on the intersections of militarism and violence against women – in other words, sexual violence in conflict areas, assault on women in the military, and other related issues.
There is a great resource kit available for those who want to get involved! It includes suggested activities, organizations to contact, posters, and information sheets you can distribute. Check it out here; you can download it straight to your computer for free! If you want to put together an activity, submit it to the 16 Days website and it will be put on an international calendar of events.