Every year since 1991, the 16 days between the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25) and International Human Rights Day (December 10) is marked by the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, an international initiative created by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University and now joined by thousands of organizations around the world.
This year, HIAS Uganda and Kenya will be participating in the 16 Days of Activism campaign. During the 16 days campaign, HIAS representatives in Uganda and Kenya will be conducting community forums and dialogues in the urban refugee hosting areas in both countries. In Kenya eight such meetings have been planned and each day a different issue will be addressed, including: child labor and child trafficking, livelihood for GBV survivors/young mothers and early marriage and sex work. In Uganda, the 16 Days of Activism campaign is being coordinated by the GBV Prevention Network. HIAS Kenya is a member of the Nairobi GBV Working Group under the Urban Refugee Protection Network which is coordinating the activities scheduled to start from 25th November 2014.
“Gender-based violence is a significant problem for the refugee communities we work with in refugee camps as well as those living in urban situations,” said Caroline Githara, HIAS Kenya Gender Officer. “We hope this campaign will raise awareness and lead to a measurable increase in the number of refugees who seek support, report incidents and are referred to services.”
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign started in 1991 by the first Women's Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership. The 16 days between International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and International Human Rights Day were originally chosen in order to emphasize that such violence against women is a violation of human rights.
The 16 Days Campaign has been used to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by:
- raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels
- strengthening local work around violence against women
- establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women
- providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies
- demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against women
- creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women
More than 5,000 organizations in over 180 countries around the world have participated in the 16 Days Campaign since it was created.