The Annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence which takes place from 25th November to 10th December is this year being held under the theme- Commit Act Demand: We CAN End Violence Against Women. This year we again invite you to join us in taking action.
History of the Campaign
The roots of “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence” campaign date back to the 20th century and are based on two historical events. The first took place in Dominican Republic on November 25th, 1960, when the state cruelly executed three Mirabal sisters who were political activists and became a symbol of resistance to Trujillo’s regime. The second happened in Canada on December 6th, 1989, when 14 female students were shot by Mark Lepine at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of engineering, the assassin who believed that he had not been accepted in the Faculty due to the number of female students.
These brutal acts triggered the creation of two end-violence global campaigns: the “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence” and the “White Ribbon Campaign” – a unique initiative by Canadian men. Later, in 1999, the UN officially recognized November 25th as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
The 16 Days campaign runs from November 25 till December 10th symbolically linking gender violence and human rights issues and covers a number of important dates, including:
November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
December 1, World AIDS Day
December 2, International Day for Abolition of Slavery
December 6, The anniversary of the 1991 “Montreal Massacre”, and
December 10, International Human Rights Day.
How Does Sport Fit In?
Sport is a platform for learning and sharing , it is used to educate and develop life skills.
Limiting access to sport hinders access to friendships and support networks developed through regular interaction.
Sports leaders can be mentors and role models, helping young women and girls to manage themselves.
“ Women in sport have been on the blind spot of society for a long time, we must demonstrate that we are a key player in contributing to the fight against gender violence within the sphere of sport and in wider society. “ Matilda Mwaba– NOWSPAR Executive Director
NOWSPAR through research looks into issues affecting access to sport for women and girls and their experiences while practicing sport.
NOWSPAR advocates for safe participation in a violence free environment
NOWSPAR promotes the Kicking AIDS Out programme for life skills development and HIV/AIDS awareness
NOWSPAR raises awareness among its members, athletes and sports institutions about women’s rights
NOWSPAR promotes interaction and linkage of sport institutions to civil society and government to learn and input into human rights promotion strategies.
‘ The skills that are developed through participation in sport including self esteem, confidence, communication and values of respect, dignity and self worth are vital to young adults’ ability to safely negotiate interpersonal relationships as these are a common site of violence.’ Lombe Mwambwa– NOWSPAR General Secretary
We Can End Violence– Act Now
Individuals- Find out more about the gender based violence
Send an email to your friends and family to tell them about their rights
Spend 5 minutes talking to your workmates and friends about their rights and violence
Print out/ email a link on gender violence to your group, listserve or friends
Send a text message to your friends and relatives about their rights and duty to prevent gender violence
Organisations- produce a brochure or email about real life stories on gender violence
Set up a stand to distribute information about gender violence and women’s rights
In newsletters/websites/memos write about gender violence and encourage all to learn about them
Schools—hold debate sessions , essay, or poetry competitions around a gender violence theme
Media—allocate space for articles on gender based violence
Parliament– make laws that are effective
Commit-Act-Demand: We CAN End Violence Against Women