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Girls & Women

9 Protest movements to end Violence against women you need to know about

Flickr:Ding Yuin Shan

After reading through, go to www.showyourselfie.org to upload your visual petition for youth and take a stand against violence.

November 25, the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women, marked the start of the 2014 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

This 16-day campaign links governments, NGOs, and communities around the world in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV). It recognizes that GBV is detrimental, not only to the livelihood and wellbeing of women and girls, but to the overall success of a society as well. GBV hinders social and economic development, promotes discrimination, and puts additional financial burdens on societies. Did you know that up to 70% of women & girls experience violence in their lifetime?

Over the course of these 16 days, people all over the world took to classrooms, conference halls, streets, and public parks to advocate for gender equality and the end of gender-based violence. Check out some of the amazing demonstrations happening this week!

On November 15, the Young Women Christian Association of Botswana held a silent protest in order to bring issues of gender-based violence to light. In attendance were many youth, representing the sub-population most widely affected by gender-based violence. "We walked silently with masks around our mouths and this alone provoked curiosity among the community wanting to know what it was all about,"said Ludo Motsatsingm, chairperson of the YWCA.

Hundreds rallied in Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday, November 25, as they waited for President Jacob Zuma to kick off the 16 Days of Activism in Reiger Park. South Africans have been motivated in the fight against gender-based violence and violence against children after a number of recent cases of violent acts being committed against children. “South Africa has some of the highest incidences of child and infant rape in the world. More than ever before, it is time for each and every one to get active, get serious and get involved,” said Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Denise Robinson.

On November 25 the Zonta Club of Wellington, New Zealand joined White Ribbon’s “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes” march. Agnes Espineda, President of the Zonta Club of Wellington said,“We are pleased to partner with White Ribbon and Women’s Refuge to raise awareness about Domestic Violence and Violence against women in our Community. The White Ribbon’s “Walk a mile in her shoes march” is a tangible way to highlight this terrible and ongoing problem. We have been advocating, debating, campaigning and bringing this issue to the attention of our city councilors and Members of Parliament over a long period of time to ensure we are of one accord and striving to keep our city safe.”

In Cambridge, England, activists have created an online campaign against gender-based violence.“We’re looking to showcase the many different forms gender violence can take, and give some ideas about how as bystanders we have a responsibility to look out for others.”The campaign features anonymously-produced creative writing, photographs and essays and will run for the full 16 days of activism.

Cambodia has created a multipronged campaign for the 16 days of activism. The campaign includes a Group Dance Anthem performance, an awareness program in high schools and universities, a radio program, and an event in Phnom Penh. They have partnered with 33 different organizations focused on violence against women in order to create a movement of activism throughout the country.

On November 25 hundreds of people gathered at five different rallies throughout Puducherry, India culminating on Beach Road. During this rally women, dressed in orange for the 16 day campaign, presented Chief Minister N. Rangasamy with a petition to create a safe environment for women throughout the country. “The huge turnout has helped in creating awareness of violence against women. We wanted to impress upon the government the importance of creating a violence-free environment,”said P. Priytarshny, Managing Director of the Puducherry State Resource Centre for Women.

On Thursday, November 27, the Bai Indigenous Women Network organized a protest against human rights violations in the Philippines. Indigenous women gathered at the Chino Roces Bridge and performed a war dance on an illustration of President Aquino.“On this day, indigenous women rise for justice. We face the militarization of our communities and suffer from human rights abuses. We are impoverished and made landless because of the plunder of our ancestral lands. These are the biggest forms of violence against indigenous women that should be put to an end,”Kakay Tolentino, a member of the Dumagat tribe and the national coordinator of the Bai Indigenous Women Network said.

The Chatham-Kent Women's Centre in Canada organized a march across the Fifth Street Bridge on Tuesday, November 25. “We weren't just saying no to violence, it was no to female circumcision, no to sexual harassment in the workplace, no to bullying, no to rape and spousal abuse. We had 12 different things on our signs,”said Wanda Bell, membership chair for Zonta Club of Chatham-Kent.

Two local organizations in Bungoma County, Kenya held a public rally at Mt. Elgon in accordance with the 16 days of activism. Speakers discussed issues of violence against women throughout the country, focusing on ending female gential mutilation. The chief guest, Mr. Mutisya Muli, the Deputy County Commissioner, Mt. Elgon, asked residents of the county to fight against male and female domination and promote gender equality.

During these 16 days of activism, people in countries all over the world are taking the lead as active and engaged global citizens. Through protests and rallies, they are showing world leaders and high-powered decision makers that they want to put an end to gender-based violence! Now it’s your turn to do this same.


Now through December 10, you can take part in the 16 days of activism by adding your selfie to the #showyourselfie visual petition. 

Use your voice to fight violence & make an impact in our world!

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Nina Stein