16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence is a campaign dedicated to raising awareness about violence against women and girls, and promoting the empowerment of survivors. Each year it runs from from 25 November to 10 December, or the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, until International Human Rights Day.
The original purpose was to promote the idea that gender based violence is a human rights issue, and today the UN also recognises gender based violence as a public health crisis, threatening the lives, health and life chances of women and girls around the world. More info here: unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/unite/16-days-of-activism
While groups and organisations fight for gender equality every day of the year, 16 Days provides a time to concentrate our efforts and focus attention on the issue. Here in Aberdeen, GREC is part of the Violence Against Women Partnership, and helped to organise the following events:
- 25 November – Reclaim the Night March. In addition to participating and stewarding, GREC staff organised speakers and equipment for the event.
- 28 November – Women’s Health and Wellbeing Fair. GREC staff have been on the organising group for this event since 2018. Bringing together more than a dozen different organisations from the public and third sector, plus activities like meditation, reiki and gel nails, the fair aims to promote women’s support services in a non-stigmatising atmosphere, making information available more widely.
- 30 November – session at GREC Language Café. GREC staff organised a presentation and Q&A on women’s rights in the UK, also as an opportunity to distribute leaflets and other information on support services.
- 6 December – Laura Bates talk, online. Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, is a leading voice in the fight for gender equality and an expert on gender based violence. Her talk, introduced by a GREC staff member, provided an overview of the issue and covered what we can do in schools and in the workplace to combat sexism and gender based violence. A video of the session can be accessed here: youtu.be/weLjqu2M4M4
- Throughout – display at Frederick Street Health Village. Created by GREC staff, the display provided information on support services including QR codes to their websites, and Aberdeen-based survivor artwork from the Clothesline Project.