You may have noticed that at Equation we’ve been getting very excited about an upcoming campaign called #16days. That being the case we wanted to tell you a little more about #16days and tell you why it’s so important to us and our work for everyone to have equal relationships free from abuse.
What is 16 days?
From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Action against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a UN campaign designed to galvanise action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.
What is Gender-Based Abuse?
‘Gender-Based Abuse’ is a term used to describe abuse inflicted by men on women and girls. The term highlights the fact that violence against women is an expression of power inequalities between women and men.
Why is #16days important?
This year the campaign comes at a time when recent news has been dominated by allegations of sexual violence against women from all corners of the globe. The coverage inspired thousands of brave women across the world to share their own experiences of sexual abuse using the #MeToo hashtag and left some in disbelief at the scale of the problem. The fact that 1 in 3 women worldwide will be physically or sexually abused is probably now more visible to the wider public than ever before.
Domestic Violence is the number one form of gender-based abuse. While anyone can experience domestic abuse at the hands of a family member, carer or partner, the majority of survivors of domestic abuse are women who have been abused by a current or former male partner. 1 in 4 women will experience abuse in their lifetimes and in the UK 50% of female homicides are the result of domestic abuse compared to 5% of men’s.
The causes of domestic violence are complex. However, we know that the men who abuse women in relationships do so because they believe they are entitled to have power and control over their partner. Equation works to prevent domestic abuse by teaching healthy relationship qualities to children and young people, and by educating the whole community to create a zero tolerance for domestic abuse.
We know that many perpetrators have sexist beliefs that women are inferior in general. These misogynistic beliefs support these men’s decisions to commit abuse. So, if we want to end domestic abuse of women by men, we need to create a society in which women are respected equally and sexist attitudes are not tolerated.
The campaign is not only a great time to raise awareness of gender-based abuse in all its forms, but to take action against it.
“How can I take part in #16days?”
There’s lots going on in Nottingham for 16 days. If you would like to find a local event to attend there’s a handy calendar here you can use to see everything that’s happening. Or, if you would like to do more perhaps you might want to consider fundraising for, or campaigning online with, Equation. All details can be found on our website at equation.org.uk/16days You can also find out more on the UN Women website.