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A lot of our Members were involved in the ‘Railing Against Abuse’ campaign and boarded trains from Taunton to Bristol handing out Loves me, Loves me not bookmarks. This year they were also be joined by Dame Joan Collins and her daughter, Tara Newley Arkle who spoke at the rally.
The 10,000 bookmarks were paid for with a grant from the Avon & Somerset PCC’s Community Action Fund.
One of the major challenges to efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls worldwide is the substantial funding shortfall. As a result, resources for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women and girls are severely lacking. Frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals, which includes a specific target on ending violence against women and girls, offer huge promise, but must be adequately funded in order to bring real and significant changes in the lives of women and girls.
The time has come to draw a line to end violence against women and girls forever. This year, as part of UN Women’s annual global initiative to ‘Orange the World’ to symbolise a brighter future without violence, UN Women NC UK is launching a powerful homegrown campaign, #drawaline, asking the public to help us end the silence and to bring about change.
Violence against women and girls often remains hidden in plain sight – in the media, in popular culture, in the street and in homes. Violence is a line that should never be crossed, yet it still affects 1 in 4 women in the UK, and up to 70% in some parts of the world.
Online: You can draw your own orange line and post your picture on social media with why you want to #drawaline and share your pictures on Twitter (include hashtag #drawaline and tag @SIGBI1 and @UNWomenUK) and Facebook.
In person: Come to the Covent Garden Piazza between 25 November-28 November, where we have drawn an orange line around the east side of the market hall. Then, share your selfies featuring our orange line.
Add a Twibbon – Support this campaign by adding a Twibbon to your profile picture – here.
Find out more about the #drawaline campaign here.
From 25 November through 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence aim to raise public awareness and mobilizing people everywhere to bring about change. This year, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign invites you to “Orange the world,” using the colour designated by the UNiTE campaign to symbolize a brighter future without violence. Organize events to orange streets, schools and landmarks!
Each year 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence introduces a new theme, or continues with a previous one and, in 2017, the theme remains unchanged from 2015: From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All!
While we bear this in mind, I draw your attention to an assessment, conducted worldwide, on what 16 Days of Activism means. The assessment, ‘A Life of its Own’, was carried out by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), and is an interesting document that I recommend all Soroptimists read.
From 25th November to 10th December each year, Soroptimists mark the days with enthusiasm and focus. Since its inception 25 years ago the meaning of 16 Days has undergone change. The document offers some soul-searching to organisations that work with gender issues, stating it is time to ‘transition from awareness to eradication’ as the next important step to eliminate gender-based violence.
Let’s go back a bit.
Led by Charlotte Bunch, 24 women at the Rutger University (USA) had a dream to explore gender discrimination in all its dimensions. The CWGL was formed and, in 1991, it launched its 16 Days campaign from 25th November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – until 10th December, Human Rights Day – the campaign affirmed the link between women’s rights and human rights. By 1995, 16 Days had gained a cross-cultural footing and had a life of its own, celebrated marked, focussed on in various ways, but kept to the main objectives. UN agencies gave fillip to the movement globally, and
UNIFEM developed its own way to mark the ten days.
The first ten years of the millennium communication and information technology saw exponential growth of NGO websites, media coverage and the outreach of the 16 Days concept. The multi-sector collaboration with UN agencies gave a stimulus. This contribution of civil society was acknowledged by the UN Secretary-General in his landmark “In-depth Study on all Forms of Violence Against Women” (2006). After 2009 The CWGL gave a new direction to their work by including Militarism & Gender-Based Violence which no doubt has spiralled due to global conflicts and war-torn zones, and population displacement due to conflict.
CWGL quantifies the impact of 16 Days and also of its global leadership training centres. This weighty report looks at the comprehensive way forward that CWGL has outlined. It recommends a human rights framework, benchmarks for the Sustainable Development Goal 5 and the implementation of UN Resolution 1325, innovations, the involvement of men, and advocacy opportunities such a campaign allows.
In the report, CWGL acknowledges: “Soroptimist International contributed to the 2015 Campaign through daily online pieces on GBV affecting women in prison, girls (issues of early and forced marriage, and access to education), older women, women in conflict, internally displaced women and indigenous women.”
Really a lot can happen in 16 days!