16 days of activism against gender-based violence (GBV) officially started off on 25th November and will end on 10th December which also is the International Human Rights Day.
The international campaign which is annually commemorated, originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. The main mandate of the campaign is to fight for a need to end all forms of violence that face women and girls around the world.
This year’s theme is dubbed, “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls”
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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!”
“If we are to fight discrimination and injustice against women we must start from the home for if a woman cannot be safe in her own house then she cannot be expected to feel safe anywhere.” Aysha Taryam
There has been a lot of assumption and prejudice opinion that any campaign targeting defense of women and girls is only a woman’s affair. Worth to note, as we mark these 16 days of activism against Gender-Based violence, it is prudent for everyone to note that violence knows no gender. This campaign is not a woman’s issue, it’s a human issue. Let’s come out boldly and fight this battle together, irrespective of ones gender.
Lately, we have been treated to news that there are so many men being battered by their wives or girlfriends but they have chosen to be silent. Why? The answer goes back to societal misconceptions that men are supposed to be “strong”. This is somewhat misleading because no human being deserves to be dishonoured based on gender stereotyping. Justly, I call upon men to be on the front line spear heading the call to end violence against women and girls because when a woman has been violated, there’s always a man involved.
Let’s not defend and protect an abuser just because ‘he’s one of us’.
“…the socialization of boys regarding masculinity is often at the expense of women. I came to realize that we don’t raise boys to be men, we raise them not be women (or gay men). We teach boys that girls and women are “less than” and that leads to violence by some and silence by many. It’s important for men to stand up to not only stop men’s violence against women but, to teach young men a broader definition of masculinity that includes being empathetic, loving and non-violent.” ~ Don McPherson
More than 164 countries globally, comprising Kenya will participate in this annual event. Orange will be the theme color unifying all manner of activities be it on dressing, buildings and events coverage.
Several organisations have landmarked Programs and events which have been targeted to highlight various ways of ending Gender-Based violence and also bring the underlying reasons to a global attention. Make a date with an event near you as a loyalist towards a free Gender-Based violence society.