What are the 16 Days of Activism?
It is a worldwide campaign to combat violence against women and girls. The campaign is held each year from November 25th, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10th, the International Human Rights Day. This campaign shows that violence against women is a serious violation of human rights and is one of the foremost widespread violations of human rights all over the world. These days are utilized by people, and organizations around the world as an organized strategy to demand an end of violence against women and girls.
Where did the story of the 16 Days of Activism come from?
On November 25th, 1960, the three sisters Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa Mirabal were murdered by the police within the Dominican Republic. They were three political activists who opposed the systemic brutal violence of the dictator of the Dominican Republic.
The Mirabal sisters have become a symbol of feminist resistance, and to commemorate their assassination, the United Nations declared November 25th the Universal Day for the End of Violence against Women in Latin America in 1980. The United Nations formally recognized this Universal Day internationally in 1999. This day also marks the start of the 16-day global campaign that aims to raise awareness about violence against women. The campaign ends on December 10, which is International Human Rights Day.
Why should we care?
Violence against women is perpetrated at an alarmingly large scale in each country across the world. It is frequently viewed as accepted behavior and the worldwide culture condones discrimination against women including violence and abuse. Speaking out against women's rights violations is what women's rights organizations do. From advocating with the governments to improve laws and services to working with societies to change discriminatory attitudes and behaviors, organizations and individuals around the world are working to respond to and prevent violence against women. However, violence against women is a global problem and requires global action. Calls for a campaign such as 16 Days of Activism are critical as they shed light on the issue of violence against women. The 16 Days of Activism are days that aim to create public awareness about what needs to change at the local, national, regional, and international levels in order to prevent perpetrators from committing violence against women and support violence survivors.
November 25 was designed to be the orange day, as the orange colour symbolizes a brighter future free from violence. It is also a way to show the world's solidarity in eliminating all forms of violence, and thus it is used as the colour of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
What are the basic principles of the 16 Days of Activism 2020 campaign?
1- Honoring and appreciating women's movements and their leaders in preventing and trying to end violence against women and girls in general.
2- Do not leave anyone behind! That is, applying a human rights-based approach and focusing attention on most of the disadvantaged and needy groups of women and girls, contributing to the effort to prevent and end violence against women and girls.
3- Focusing on survivors of violence: follow a respectful approach and do not hurt in narration and re-narration of survivor stories where everyone should give priority to defending and supporting rights, safety, dignity, and confidentiality.
4- Everyone in society has an important role to play in ending violence against women and girls, and we must all work together across sectors to address the various aspects of violence against women and girls.
5- The period of change: striving to create or enhance fair gender norms for fundamental and permanent changes for women and girls.
6- Raise the Voice of Young Feminists It is time to create platforms to raise the voices of the next generation of feminists who are shaping their futures.
7- The orange color continues to be a major tool that unifies all the activities of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, as all the special features are decorated in orange to attract the global attention of the initiative.
The global framework for the 16 Days of Activism Campaign:
With the world staying indoors due to the lockdown measures that were followed to limit the Coronavirus pandemic, reports received from all over the world showed an alarming increase in cases of violence against women and girls. "Together, we can and must prevent violence everywhere from war zones to people's homes, while we all work to overcome the Coronavirus pandemic" said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
If you need support:
1- Contact with your family, friends, and neighbors who can support you.
2- Call available hotlines in your area to ask for help.
3- Search for local services for survivors or contact us on the Facebook page for any additional information.
To inquire about the services provided to women and girls, you can call the following numbers:
Women's Protection and Empowerment Department in the International Rescue Committee:
1- Al – Anbar:
Al-Amiriya Camps 07802530945
you can contact these following numbers:
or visit the women and girls’ community centers in the following locations: Laylan 1, Panja Ali 1 and Panja Ali 2.
you can contact these following numbers:
or visit the women and girls’ community centers in the following locations: Karama, Mithaq and Intisar neighborhood.
For KRI region, you can contact the free helpline by UNFPA and Directorate of Combating Violence Against Women (DCVAW): 119