Nov 262007
 

Numerous reports are beginning to come in about campaigns related to the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence all over the world.  Here are some of the highlights:

In Rwanda, the Rwandan National Police offer numerous ideas for preventing and responding to gender violence.

“Gender Based Violence is a human rights issue not a private domestic matter as culturally as it is normally misconceived.”

In Uganda, WOUGNET reports that there will be a  Speak Out, Stand Out, and Commit to preventing Violence against Women campaign.  The website also has information about 16 Days activities in other African countries.

In Bosnia and Herzegovinia, numerous activities are listed on the Foundation CURE website.

“Foundation CURE (Cure meaning Girls in local languages) is a non-governmental, non-political, and non-profit organization that focuses its work on feminist activism, publishing, audio-video and digital production, event management for human rights and social changes, research, all aiming at creating and developing public dialogue about issues essential to a democratic society in BiH.”

New about activities in South Africa can be found here and here.

In Sri Lanka “the GBV Forum is commemorating the International day for the Elimination of Violence against women and the 16 days of activism against GBV by launching a TV and Radio  campaign containing 16 statements by men……” (received via email)

PRESS RELEASE
Commemorating International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25th November)
and The 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (25th November – 10th December)

As the world commemorates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, on 25th November, which is also the first day of the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender–based Violence (25th November to 10th December, Human Rights Day), the GBV Forum will launch a media campaign where 16 men will speak out against violence against women. The focus of this year’s GBV Forum campaign is on engaging men to end violence against women, with a slogan/theme which affirms that “men too can make a difference. Say NO to violence against women.? The media campaign will feature 16 thirty second spots which will be aired on TV and on radio during the 16 Days of Activism. Included in the campaign are well-known personalities such as our cricketers Kumara Sangakkara and Jehan Mubarak, singers/ song writers Bhatiya and Santush, Diplomat Jayantha Dhanapala and actor Roshan Ranawana among others from diverse walks of life.

The GBV Forum comprises of different agencies from various sectors (NGO, INGO, UN, Government etc.) working together to End Gender-based Violence. This is the third consecutive year the GBV Forum has commemorated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
During the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence island-wide programs focusing on Gender–based Violence (GBV), women’s rights and human rights will take place. The White Ribbon Campaign, which is the largest effort in the world of men’s activism to end violence against women, also takes place during this time. This year also, Sri Lankans will join this world-wide campaign by wearing a white ribbon, which is a personal pledge never to commit, condone nor remain silent about violence against women.
In Sri Lanka the most prevalent types of violence against women (VAW) are rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, forced prostitution and trafficking. These crimes are not particular to a certain region or locality, but are widespread and cuts across class, race, religion, ethnicity, etc. In many cases these violations are hidden, this is especially true of domestic violence, which according to the UN Rapporteur on Violence Against Women is reported to have been experienced by 60% of Sri Lankan women (Wijayatilake, K., 2004. Study on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Selected Locations in Sri Lanka, Colombo: CENWOR and UNHCR).

Due to poor reporting and the social stigma attached to GBV, the actual numbers do not reflect the real situation. Nevertheless the reported cases have increased. But whether this is due to increasing incidents of GBV or due to efforts by many organizations to encourage women to speak out against GBV, remains unclear. Women living in war situations in the North and East of the country, post-tsunami shelters, institutions such as detention centres and orphanages are even more vulnerable to all forms of violence and abuse. Sri Lanka has made progress on various fronts, particularly in the legal domain, in an attempt to end VAW (for example the adoption of the Women’s Charter, the amendments to the Penal Code in 1995, Domestic Violence Act in 2005 etc). But given that GBV is a complex multi-causal issue that has to be tackled at multiple levels, interventions made by state and non-state actors thus far, have touched only the tip of the iceberg. This highlights the need for continued collaboration and networking from all agencies working in this critical area which threatens the dignity and well being of women.

This collaborative campaign is a positive step in a new direction founded on fostering shared resources, abilities and knowledge for the common good of all. We invite all Sri Lankans who are committed to uphold a violence free life for women and men to join us and support this worthy cause.  We especially speak to the men in our society – the fathers, grandfathers, husbands, uncles, brothers and sons to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.

“Men too can make a Difference. Say NO to Violence against Women?

GBV FORUM
For more information please contact: 2580840

HELPLINE : 4718585

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 November 26, 2007  Posted by on November 26, 2007

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