Every year from the 25th of November to the 10th of December the gospel of activism against gender based violence is preached the most. Not that during the year it’s irrelevant to discuss gender based violence but the 16 days where chosen so that we come together and discuss progress in our efforts to try and eliminate all forms of violence especially to women and girls on all platforms both online and offline.
Violence against women and girls takes many forms, including rape, domestic violence, harassment at work, abuse in school, female genital mutilation and sexual violence in armed conflicts among others. These forms of violence are widespread throughout the globe, and perpetrators often go unpunished. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25th of November) highlights the inalienable rights of women and girls enshrined in international human rights and humanitarian law. Activities are organized each year to raise awareness of the extent of violence against women around the world. Usually on social media the hashtags are #EndGBV #SayNoToGBV and #OrangeTheWorld, this year I noticed we (Zimbabweans) are using #16DaysZw for dialogue giving special focus to the statistics and efforts in our country. Offline there are dialogues and campaigns throughout the country aimed at disseminating information on all the forms of gender based violence, educate the public and make them aware of just how serious gender based violence is and how often it goes unreported and unpunished. Often victims are blamed and the perpetrators are not strangers but those close to the victim such as family members and friends. Engaging Men and boys is a major tool to eradicate violence against women and girls. Another reason of engaging men and boys is that we live in a patriarchal society where men have decision making powers, complete dominance in private and public spaces. Changing their behaviors slowly will eventually lead to elimination of violence against women and girls. It would be beneficial to target men and boys as it would help society to raise the next generation of boys and girls in a gender equitable framework.
Violence against women is a Human Rights Violation which needs to be Prevented. Then how can we all Aid to End Violence against Women and Girls?
1) Family Raising (a) child/children to “Respect Others” is the very First Step in Preventing Violence against Everyone
2) Schools (Teachers, Students and Every person involved at School) and Workplaces (Every person involved at the Work Place) should continue to Create a Culture that Rejects Violence or Mistreatment against Women and Girls
3) Each Community should make efforts to Give Women and Girls, who became the victim of Violence, an Easy Access to Medical Care & Legal Representation
4) Each Community should Give Wider Access to Education to All Women and Girls (e.g., basic education, academic education, vocational education, sex education)
5) End Forced Early Marriage and Premature Pregnancy; and
6) Inform the Law Enforcement Officers (or other organizations in your community that deal with Violence against Women and Girls), if you Experience, See or Hear Domestic, Public or State Violence against Women and Girls
Violence against Women and Girls must be Prevented. And . . the Prevention is Possible . . and most of all . . Important. Let’s All Participate in Preventing Violence against Women and Girls to let All Women and Girls in Each and Every Community to live in a more Secure and a Peaceful place which They All So Deserve! Listen to the audio drama (podcast) here.