At SafeNet, we will be taking action every day during the ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’, to raise awareness, to call for change at an international, national and local level to end violence against women and girls. Women and girls face harassment and discrimination on a daily basis with 1 in 3 experiencing violence in their lifetimes.
There are many inequality crises happening now across the world, and gender inequality is at the very heart of human rights and values. Despite much progress made securing women’s rights globally, millions of women and girls continue to experience discrimination and violence, being denied of their equality, dignity and autonomy, and even a life. Earlier this year the UN General Secretary said gender equality is still 300 years away and ‘growing more distant’ with ‘women’s rights “vanishing before our eyes”. Across the world we have girls banned from school, women denied the right to work and children being forced into early marriage.
In Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, women and girls have been completely erased from public life. In many places, including the USA, women’s sexual and reproductive rights are being rolled back. In Iran, the Islamic Republic have violently repressed the female-led revolt where women took to the streets and refused to cover up and be silent.
Centuries of patriarchy, discrimination and harmful stereotypes have created a huge gender gap in science and technology, where women represent only 3% of Nobel prize winners in those sectors. And we have the spectre or social media influencers like Andrew Tate creating violent, misogynistic, and toxic culture in our society and in our schools with many schoolchildren using his disturbing rhetoric aiming to ‘control’ women.
The patriarchy is fighting back against women’s progress and women’s movements like #metoo. But we’re also fighting back and during the 16 Days of Activism from 25th November (UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10th December (Human Rights Day) 2023, we stand in solidarity with women and girls everywhere.
During our everyday work at SafeNet we witness the seriously damaging and often deadly end point of gender equality in the domestic abuse, suffering, damage and trauma present in our homes, streets and the communities where we work. We do all we can to support survivors, mending broken bones, homes and hearts, providing safe refuge and support towards safer healthier lives and relationships, and whilst this helps, it is not enough. We continue to highlight the inequalities women face, to take action to redress gender-based discrimination and inequality and aspire to end the violence and abuse against women and girls.
What is our Call?
We encourage as many colleagues, supporters, survivors, friends and family as possible to take part this year in the 16 Days of Activism.
Here are 10 ways you can get started:
1 – Start a conversation & share what 16 Days of Activism is about
2 – Volunteer in your local women’s services such as SafeNet
3 – Support National campaigns that support ending #VAWG
4 – Challenge ‘harmless’ attitudes & behaviours that normalise violence against women & girls
5 – Share SafeNet’s posts on your social media platforms to raise awareness
6 – Call out sexist language when you hear it
7 – Donate or fundraise for SafeNet
8 – Men can make the White Ribbon Pledge at www.whiteribbon.org.uk
9 – Wear a White Ribbon as an ally or become a White Ribbon Ambassador
10 – Sign up to be a supporter organisation