The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence 2011 was a great success.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence 2011 was a great success. Last year’s campaign themes all linked to the issue of small arms control and the use of guns to perpetrate and facilitate violence against women and girls, the central focus of our work as IANSA women around the world.
As global coordinator of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Campaign, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) has launched the Campaign Report. As Chart 4 in the report shows, focus on the proliferation of small arms often intersected with work on domestic violence. Many groups advocated for the control of the trafficking in small arms based on the use of these weapons in the perpetuation of domestic violence. Actions related to specific priority areas varied regionally, e.g., in Sub-Saharan Africa violence perpetuated by state agents and the proliferation of small arms were the focus of most initiatives.
This year’s campaign themes all linked to the issue of small arms control and the use of guns to perpetrate and facilitate violence against women and girls, the central focus of our work as IANSA women around the world:
28 IANSA members and supporters from 23 countries raised their voices against gun violence against women in events ranging from debates and theatre performances to marches and radio interviews, including:
Argentina: The Asociación para Políticas Públicas (APP), the Latin American Coalition for the Prevention of Armed Violence (CLAVE) and the Human Security Group for Latin America and the Caribbean (Sehlac) are calling for an end to armed violence against women in the following declaration: Declaración dia de la no violencia contra la mujer
More information is available here: http://www.app.org.ar/violencia/dia-internacional-de-la-eliminacion-de-l...
Bangladesh: Throughout the 16 Days, Chittagong Social Development Forum (CSDF) is distributing leaflets and posters on violence against women, domestic violence and sexual harassment in particular, and organising cultural events, a documentary film screening, trainings and discussions with school students and teachers, religious leaders, unions, local political leaders, CBOs and clubs for women’s participation in politics.
Belgium: The Inter-Regional Forum of Congolese Women for International Development (FIREFEC), the group of Congolese women of Common Cause UK in London and CONGO ACTIF PARIS, a the group of Congolese women in France, areorganising a day of reflection on the theme “Natural resources, war and violence”. The day includes a presentation on UN Security Council Resolution 1325, followed by a presentation on “Small arms in Eastern Congo and perceptions of insecurity” by M. Georges Berghezan of GRIP. It will also include workshops on war and mining resources and their links to violence against women, as well as a theatrical awareness raising session, « Heart of the Mother » with Dada Stella Kitoga Bitondo, a Congolese director and actress.
Belgium: AFEDE (Women’s Action for Development) is distributing pins and postcards to people and encouraging them to wear a white ribbon as a public statement that they will always denounce violence against women. If you wish to receive a white ribbon, write to: email@example.com. More information here: http://www.afede.net/
Brazil: Instituto Sou da Paz is paying homage to the groups, projects and initiatives that contribute to highlighting and combating violence against women in Brazil. Throughout the 16 days, they are showcasing four different groups each day that are acting or have acted in defence of women's rights in the country. See: http://www.soudapaz.org/16dias/
Burundi: Développement Agropastoral et Sanitaire [Agro-pastoral and Healthy Development] (DAGROPASS) trained 30 women educators to conduct a multi-stage campaign to address the roots of gender-based violence in their communities and break the silence surrounding the link between small arms and gender-based violence in Bujumbura, Burundi. DAGROPASS estimates that 80 percent of households in Bujumbura have small arms. These are the very weapons that facilitate intense rates of violence against women in Burundi. DAGROPASS is leading the way by empowering rural women – often excluded from positions of power – to lead a rights-based movement for the elimination of small arms. See: http://www.globalfundforwomen.org/impact/media-center/blog/171-16-days/1...
Burundi: The Coalition for Development and Social Rehabilitation, CODR-UBUNTU, organised a series of games, sports andtheatre performances on violence against women and girls with former child soldiers, orphans and other vulnerable children in Burundi.
Cameroon: Women in Alternative Action-WAA Cameroon is training over 100 youth of the Adamaoua, North and Extreme North regions of Cameroon on the impact of gun violence on girls and women during a three day capacity building workshop. WAA will also hold an Open Space Technology (OST) day in Yaounde under the theme “Challenging Militarism to End Violence against Women and Girls”. The day will bring together about 45 participants from peace, women’s , and human rights organisations and local media to reflect on and share experiences on gun related violence against women and girls. With these events, WAA are aiming to increase the level of dialogue on militarism and gender-based violence, and to promote the campaign Disarm Domestic Violence in order to create an atmosphere of peace and security in the home and the community.
Canada: On 6 December, the Coalition for Gun Control and the Communication,Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) Women's Conference organised a vigil and a rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The event not only paid tribute to the 14 women that were murdered in the Montreal Massacre on 6 December, 1989, but also condemned the Canadian Government for their recent decision to dismantle the national gun registry, a move the organisers called an “insensitive and baseless destruction of Canada’s gun control laws, legislation recognised as a monument to the victims of the Montreal Massacre by their families and friends”. An estimated 400 people from across the country participated in the event, which received significant media coverage.
Chad: The Association of Women for Development and Peace in Chad is organising advocacy and awareness-raising activities with traditional, political and administrative leaders on the theme “Women and decision-making“. They are organised events and film screenings in schools and youth centers in N’Djamena focusing on the proliferation of small arms and human rights in Africa generally and Chad specifically. They also brought together 53 women from political parties and women’s organisations during a press conference on the various forms of violence against women. Their activities were covered on radio and in newspapers.
Colombia: La Casa Cultural Tejiendo Sororidades in Cali has carried out sit-ins in two places in la Comuna 18, using the slogan “Women paint life, stop violence against women”. They also hosted an exhibition with themed paintings by women where they handed out information on violence against women to the general public.
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): In Fizi Territory, South Kivu, SOS FED (Femmes en Danger) started the day with a peaceful march, followed by a debate with local churches, ethnic groups, tribes, international NGOs and local administrative authorities on the 16 Days campaign theme: "From peace in the home, to peace in the world.'' They are also visiting a prison to inquire about the punishment of perpetrators of rape and other forms of violence against women. The local community will be invited to participate in a play on non-violence and crimes against humanity, followed by a film screening on "The reduction of risk of sexual violence" and the prevention of risk of mass sexual violence against women. Various radio stations are invited, including, the Radio People's Messenger Uvira, Community Radio Mboko, Radio Comminautaire of Abeka, Radio RTNC / Bukavu and Radio Umoja Baraka.
DR Congo: In Kinshasa, Femmes des Medias pour la Justice au Congo (FMJC) launched the 16 Days with a speech on the theme “I Support Women“ (« Moi, je soutiens la femme ») at the market in Kingasani, Kinshasa. It focused,on violence against women and the post electoral security situation, and called on people to exercise non-violence and avoid using guns around the announcement of election results.
DR Congo: REFEADES – MAKOBOLA, a network of women in action for social development, is organising a training and a film screening in Fizi, Eastern DRC on domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence. Among the participants there will be women leaders of civil society groups and MAI MAI ex-combatants. After the training, women will go home to their villages to lead their own discussions on violence against women.
Georgia: Throughout the 16 Days, the Cultural-Humanitarian Fund "Sukhumi"” held over 130 events, including round table discussions, forum-theatre performances, film screenings, TV programmes andradio programmes around Western Georgia. "Never allow violence against women!" - was one of their slogans. Activities attracted more local authorities than in previous years and included people of all ages, genders and professional and educational backgrounds. They were broadcast on local and national TV, including “Rioni” (Kutaisi), and radio channels. During events, Sukhumi conducted sociological research with participants to collect data on domestic violence in Western Georgia. For more information, visit their website: www.fundsokhumi.ge
Guinea: The Fondation Justice Paix et Développement (FJPD) organised a radio panel discussion on armed domestic violence on community radio station Familia FM, with leaders from women’s organisations, young people and local authorities. They also organised aconference on this year’s theme “from peace in the home to peace in the world” with 30 representatives of youth and women’s organisations, local authorities, two national and private TV channels (RTG and Evasion), a representative of the written press HOROYA and the national radio. A series of recommendations and priorities were elaborated by the participants, including creating a national platform of organisations working on preventing armed violence and launching a 7-day awareness-raising campaign with youth in roundabouts in the city where armed violence is prevalent.
India: More than 84 women from Central India participated in a Regional Conference in Nagpur, organised by the Indian Institute For Peace, Disarmament & Environmental Protection. High levels of gun violence and the proliferation of small arms in the region has led to an increase in rape and intimidation of women, making it unsafe for girls to attend school. The purpose of the conference was to understand the problem, find remedies, give a voice to women and highlight their role in combating violence.
Israel: Gun Free Kitchen Tables is calling on the Minister of Public Security and private security guard firms to implement and enforce the law instructing security guard firms to collect guards’ guns after duty. They are also aiming to generate public discussion on the implications of small arms proliferation, an issue which is controversial and not often talked about in Jewish Israeli society. Rela Mazali, Smadar Ben Natan and Alamnesh Zalaka gave a presentation to the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, which called on the Minister of Public Security to begin enforcing the law. Next Sunday, the campaigners will meet with a high ranking official from the Ministry of Public Security and with the Ministry’s legal consultant. 11 civil society organisations and over twenty activists have joined the campaign. They displayed 500 copies of a campaign poster with the message “Guards’ Guns Unsafe at Home” on billboards throughout Tel Aviv. Dozens of signs with the campaign poster were carried by activists in the November 25th march, where a wellknown talkshow hostess opened her introduction with a brief description of the campaign and its call. Thousands of people are following the campaign on facebook, blogs and youtube, where a one-minute campaign video highlights the murders of women with guns brought home by security guards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJfIgzB_A84 The campaign has received substantial media coverage, including Hakol Diburim, on the Reshet Bet channel, on the site Saloona (in Hebrew) and in the newspaper Haaretz: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/security-firms-accused-of-igno...
Jordan: In Amman, SIGI (Sisterhood is Global Institute) organised a roundtable discussion with Layla Sharraf, a member of parliament, judges, lawyers, a forensic medicine expert and five survivors of violence who shared their testimonies. Around 30 people were present. In her introductory speech, SIGI founder Asma Khadder highlighted the importance of preventing both armed conflict and individual gun ownership and use to combat violence against women. She stressed the importance of including men in ending violence, and cited the Jordaniantradition of shooting live bullets in the air at weddings and the tendency of men to resort to gun violence when they are angry.
Mali: The Association des femmes pour les Initiatives de Paix (AFIP) held a debate about the deteriorating security situation in the north of the country since the crisis in Libya. It was held in Bamako, and attended by representativesfrom ministries and the parliament. On the same day, they organised a conference in the north-eastern region Kidal attended by press and parliamentarians who were in the region to visit Malian expatriates who hadreturned to the country from Libya. They also held radio debates on three different stations. AFIP calls for urgent government action to prevent outbreaks of violence by detecting and destroying caches of small arms, supporting village leaders and promoting the involvement of women and young people in community work for peace. They also recommend that a hotline should be set up where people can share information and help authorities respond quickly to signs of violence.
Peru: The Institute for Security and Human Rights (ISDH) held a conference in Lima on the topic "Weapons: a problem for women's security", the conference was aimed at the police force, female as well as male officers, in order to deepen their understanding of this issue
The Philippines: The Centre for Peace Education, Sulong CARHRIHL and Pax Christi-Miriam College organised a women's dialogue with the security sector, called "Tea with the Military". Military and police were invited to talk about the security, human rights, peace and small arms control programs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police's Firearms and Explosives Division. Around 200 women from peace, human rights and women's organisations, from government and from academia engaged them in a dialogue on these aspects. It was an opportunity for the security sector to discuss their perspectives and programs related to security, human rights, peace and arms control and a chance for women to tell them their views on these matters. According to the organisers, "it was a very fruitful tea."
Republic of Congo: In Brazzaville, Sylvie Nadège Mfoutou Banga of the Organisation for Human Rights and Development in Congo (ODDHC) and Kenneth Enim Ampi of Femmes des Médias pour la Justice au Congo (FMJC) organised a television show on the national radio station. They spoke about the impact of small arms on women and the conclusions of the meeting of the Central African Network on Small Arms in Bangui.
Senegal: In Dakar, the Movement Against Small Arms and Light Weapons in WestAfrica (MALAO) hosted a meeting for several women’s organisations to discuss ways to combat violence against women. We must “reinforce the capacities of grassroots actors on women’s rights issues” said Awa Dianor, president of the Women’s Coalition of Greater Dakar. She emphasised that victims of violence must be included in decision-making institutions for their problems to be taken into account. More information here: http://africadiasporanews.blogspot.com/
Spain: CEIPAZ has shared their new report: ‘Women count: Follow up report on the implementation of resolution 1325 in Spain’, an important tool to protect women against violence and recognise the role that they play in peace building. More information here: http://www.ceipaz.org/
Spain: AURORA held a joint event with Plataforma per la Pau de Lloret de Mar entitled “CALLAR, MATA” (Remaining silent, kills). Ester Mas, a psychologist working with victims of gender-based violence moderated the discussion. Three courageous women, Marta, Lina and Irene, shared their testimonies and gave first person accounts of their experiences as victims of violence.
South Africa: The focus this year is on the proliferation of small arms and their role in domestic violence. Speaking at the media launch of the 16 Days campaign, Lulu Xingwana, the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities said that, women are three times more likely to die violently if there is a gun in the house: "Not only do small arms facilitate violence against women, they are also used in many contact crimes, robberies and other violent crimes that remain prevalent in our country,". While serious crime had dropped in the last year, she was concerned by the increase in violent crimes against women. There was a 2.1% increase in sexual offences last year and a 5.6% increase in the murder of women. See http://mg.co.za/article/2011-11-25-zero-tolerance-for-violence-against-w...
South Sudan: The American Refugee Committee (ARC) South Sudan is holding video playbacks on violence against women with the South Sudan Police Service and the SPLA (military of South Sudan), and encouraging discussion. They have made two films on the role of the police and the military in setting a good example and acting as role models for society. In recent Rapid Needs Assessments, the ARC found that the SPLA were the main perpetrators of violence against women in South Sudan. The films aimed to present positive rather than accusatory or negative images. They are also broadcasting several radio dramas and conducting interviews each day on national radio.
Switzerland: The UN Population Fund, The NGO Committee on the Status of Women, PeaceWomen Across the Globe (PWAG) and BANGWE ET DIALOGUE, an organisation working with women from the Great Lakes region, co-organised aseminar on the interrelation of armed violence and violence against women in Geneva, Switzerland. Presenters included a representative from local government, Ms Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold of PWAG, Ms Alanna Armitage of UNFPA Geneva, MsChristiane Agboton Johnson of UNIDIR, and Ms Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). The participants also discussed the future of the 16 Days campaign.
Trinidad and Tobago: WINAD partnered with the Caribbean Regional Office of UN Women to host an event on UN Security Council resolution 1325 on the theme ‘Open Day on Women, Peace and Security - Women's Role in Ensuring Citizen Security’. It was attended by representatives of key government ministries including the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development; Ministry of National Security and Ministry of the People and Social Development; as well as civil society organisations, including private security representatives; national youth councils; women's organisations; victims support organisations and community based organisations. The meeting endorsed a call to the government to work with civil society organisations to develop a National Action Plan for UNSCR 1325.
Turkey: The Umut Foundation, the IANSA Women’s Network, and the Human Rights programme of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs are organising a national conference on the theme, ‘Women’s Perspectives on Individual Disarmament’. Speakers will include IANSA Director Dr Mirjana Dokmanovic and IANSA Women’s Network Programme Officer Rebecca Gerome, as well as lawyers, academics and practitioners from Turkey, England, Palestine and Jordan. The event will include key-note sessions on: Disarmament and Small Arms: Terminology and Concepts; Availability of Guns in Turkey and Recommendations for the Review of National Firearms Legislation; Gender Dimensions of SALW Possession and Use; Direct and Indirect Impacts of Gun Violence on Women; and Women’s Experiences of Peace Building and Activism.
United Nations, New York: Youth activists met the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet and other high-level participants at UN headquarters in New York to discuss ways to end violence against women and girls. The occasion wasthe Official Commemoration of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the 15th Anniversary of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. The theme was: “Youth Leadership in Preventing and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls.”
United Kingdom: On 3 December, IANSA Network Communications Officer Ranveig Svenning Berg will participate in a seminar organised by WILPF entitled “Challenge Militarism”. The seminar aims to provide the tools to challenge violence and militarism and identify the building blocks for peace: inspiration and information from high profile speakers; interactive workshops to experience activities that shapepolitics, the media as well as action to challenge militarism and build an international culture of peace. Ranveig will speak about gender and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and share elements from the IANSA Women’s Network lobby brief on the ATT. More information is available here: http://www.ukwilpf.org/challenge-militarism-wilpf-autumn-seminar?utm_sou...
United Kingdom: IANSA Network Communications Officer Ranveig Svenning Berg participated in a panel discussion on behalf of the IANSA Women’s Network at an event on ‘Violence against women in peace and war’ organised by WILPF in Leicester. Ranveig highlighted the gun issue and the Disarm Domestic Violence campaign internationally and in the UK specifically. More information is available here: http://www.ukwilpf.org/violence-against-women-in-peace-and-war
United Kingdom: The Department For International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Stabilisation Unit are hosting a brown-bag lunch in London to highlight the link between Violence Against Women and Girls and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. Presentations are focused on the three bilateral action countries in the National Action Plan on UN Security Council Resolution 1325: Afghanistan, DRC and Nepal.
USA: Amnesty International USA's (AIUSA) new Women's Human Rights Coordination Group will be doing a series of blogs during the 16 Days campaign on the AIUSA website and the coordination group's Facebook page, featuring a different country or case file each day. The opening blog, on women and small arms, used information from several IANSA publications as source material: http://blog.amnestyusa.org/women/small-arms-put-women-at-risk-in-their-o...
See also: http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/women-s-rights
Visit their facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amnesty-International-USA-Womens-Human-Rig...
USA: Members of the U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security have shared their expert statement and recommendations for the upcoming U.S. National Action Plan on UNSC Resolution 1325. They hope that it will inform and influence the US government and other partners on the way forward. The statement is available at: http://www.icanpeacework.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/U-S-Civil-Societ...
Gender Across Borders, a global feminist blog, is featuring a special 16 days article series. In one article, “The intersection of domestic violence and guns in the home and in the world”, blogger Danielle Prince discusses the links between guns and domestic violence observed in the US as well as in South Sudan and the DRC. She also criticises the role of the US in the global arms trade. In “War at Home, Small Arms in the Home”, feminist author Lizy Tichareva tells her personal story of armed domestic violence in Zimbabwe, where she endured years of threats at gunpoint from her husband. “Firearms can be found in more and more homes”, she writes. “Their proliferation has led to an increasing number of deaths.” She notes that, “it is up to the government to establish a control system and registry for guns. (...) Those with a history of domestic violence should be banned from possessing a weapon as they may use them on their spouse and children. There must be a system that can be used to identify such people and develop a register of people with a history of domestic violence and such people should not be allowed anywhere near a firearm.” To read these blog posts and others, visit: http://www.genderacrossborders.com/2011/11/30/war-at-home-small-arms-in-...
The Hunt Alternatives Fund – Institute for Inclusive Security is coordinating an international campaign on December 10 to celebrate that this year's Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to women peacebuilders and enhance awareness of women's role in bringing stability to their communities. By encouraging world-wide participation, they hope to generate media coverage of women's participation in peace and security. To take part in the campaign, you can organise a party to watch the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony live over the internet, join the event ‘Rise with the Prize’ on facebook http://www.facebook.com/events/241094499286564/ or send a tweet using the hashtag #risewiththeprize to show your support for women's participation in preventing and stopping war. Visit www.risewiththeprize.org for sample tweets and more information.
The Nobel Women's Initiative will be using the campaign to spotlight the work of women’s rights activists from around the globe to end the scourge of rape and gender violence in conflict. Visit their 16 Days of Activism blog or subscribe by e-mail to their daily profiles. More information is available here: http://nobelwomensinitiative.org/
Make Every Woman Count (MEWC) will be running a series of daily articles by young African women from across Africa and the Diaspora exploring this year’s 16 Days campaign themes. Check out their website: www.makeeverywomancount.org on 25 November and the 15 days following to read the analysis, stories and opinions of women on militarism in Africa.
Say NO – UNiTE is launching ‘16 Ways to Say NO to Violence against Women’. Visit saynotoviolence.org/16days2011 and pick as many actions as you want, or choose the featured action of the day.
The 2011 campaign is an opportunity to consider what we, part of the global women’s rights movement, can do to challenge the structures that allow armed violence against women to continue at all levels, from local to global.
Photos from the 16 Days can be found here:
The 16 Days Took Kit
More information in English, French and Spanish is available on the campaign website: http://16dayscwgl.rutgers.edu
IANSA inputs into Campaign Tool Kit
This year’s Tool Kit includes an information sheet developed by IANSA women which focuses on small arms and domestic violence. It is available online at:
If you are planning any events for the 16 Days Campaign, you can directly submit the details in the online International Campaign Calendar, at http://16dayscwgl.rutgers.edu/campaign-calendar
What does security mean to you?
We also encourage you to participate in a new project called "What does security mean to you?". The goal is to collect short videos and written statements responding to that question, which will guide future advocacy. The details and submission form can be found online: http://16dayscwgl.rutgers.edu/2011-campaign/qwhat-is-securityq-submissions.
Strategic Conversation Report Now Available
The Strategic Conversation Report on "Intersections of Violence Against Women and Militarism" is now also available at: http://cwgl.rutgers.edu/globalcenter/publications/vawmilitarism2011.pdf