16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

Women’s Global Leadership Institute held the inaugural event in 1991.

It is now an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

In efforts to highlight the scourge of Gender-based violence Phola in partnership with Gender -Links and other organizations held a convocation with women drawn from diverse backgrounds, social standing, and religious inclinations. The participants discussed ways of challenging harmful practices and protecting women and girls. Phola also joined Cosmo community to speak out against Gender-based violence, domestic violence and femicide.

In support of this civil society initiative the United Nations proclaims 2030 the year to End Violence against Women. The UN campaign calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations.

Recently on BBC World Service a leading clergy and gender advocate condemned domestic violence against women as “almost satanic” He lamented the extremely high number of women beaten and abused in their homes.

“The problem is that, for me, it is almost satanic, because it is taking advantage of a person who cannot defend herself, who can only try to block the bows. Said world renowned clergy. “It is humiliating. Very humiliating.”

He added that women who suffered abuse had not lost their dignity.

“I see dignity in you. Stay with that image of courage.

Incidents of abuse have increased in communities, as victims remain trapped with their abusers during lockdown.

According to UN report which covered thirteen countries, half of the women surveyed said they had experienced violence since the start of the pandemic.

South African president Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa has encouraged men to speak out do more to prevent gender-based violence.

He added that men were the main perpetrators of rape and domestic violence, and that they were the ones should therefore raise awareness, speak, and do more to prevent crimes against women.

“Because it is men who are the main perpetrator, should be talking the lead in speaking out and reporting gender-based violence, in raising awareness, in peer education and in prevention efforts.”

For women experiencing domestic violence, narrative therapy can be a powerful tool to help them gain self-confidence and a sense of identity, resist violence, and make the transition from  abuse to safety.

Phola supports women’s transition from abuse to safety.