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16 days start now!

November 26, 2008

Logo for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

In 1991, women from around the world gathered to create 16 DAYS of activism against gender violence. They had come together for the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute, a project of Rutgers’ Center for Women’s Global Leadership. According to the university, “The 16 days bracket two milestones: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 and International Human Rights Day on December 10.”

This year, the theme is Human Rights for Women ‹—› Human Rights for All: UDHR60. That last bit refers to the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is being marked on the 10th this year. The Center for Women’s Global Leadership puts it this way: “Human rights cannot be universal without human rights for women.”

Seems kind of obvious, but here we are!

In Canada, many see the devastating effects of gender violence continue will little notice, or sense that things can change. As a result, the YWCA has relaunched its Rose Button campaign this year, bringing more of a focus on taking action to stop violence against women. According to the YWCA:

  • Over 31,000 incidents of spousal violence against women were reported to police in 2006, and it’s estimated that over 70% of incidents go unreported.
  • Women are more likely than men to be the victims of the most severe forms of intimate partner abuse, such as homicide, sexual assault and stalking.
  • Almost 40% of women in Canada who reported assault by an intimate partner said their children witnessed the violence. In half of those cases, the woman feared for her life.
  • The devastating count of missing and murdered Aboriginal women points to a deep-seated gendered and racialized violence in our culture that impacts both Aboriginal women and women of colour.

The high levels of racialized, sexualized violence directed against Aboriginal women in Canada is a national and international shame. We urge governments in Canada to recognize these threats and take concrete action now.

— Beverley Jacobs, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, United Nations experts on women’s rights call for Canadian action plan to stop violence against Indigenous women | November 26, 2008

Today, three organizations urged “governments in Canada to recognize these threats and take concrete action now.” Their statement was a response to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women statement that all levels of government in this country should “give priority attention to combating violence against women” and create a comprehensive national plan of action to address the social and economic factors that lead to increased risk for Indigenous women and women from ethnic minorities.

sources

United Nations experts on women’s rights call for Canadian action plan to stop violence against Indigenous women, Native Women’s Association of Canada, the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, and Amnesty International Canada, section15.ca announcement | November 26, 2008

external website iconSisters In Spirit - Background, Native Women’s Association of Canada

external website iconRose Button Campaign, YWCA Canada

external website icon16 DAYS of activism against gender violence, home page, Center for Women's Global Leadership
external website icon16 DAYS of activism against gender violence, 2008 theme, “Human Rights for Women ‹—› Human Rights for All: UDHR60”, Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University
external website icon16 DAYS of activism against gender violence campaign discussion list, go here to join the 16 Days listserv
external website iconRutgers marks 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, by FREDDA SACHAROW, Focus, Rutgers University | November 19, 2008

external website icon16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

external website icon16 Days of Activism To End Violence Against Women, United Nations Population Fund
external website iconSixteen Ways UNFPA Works to End Gender Violence

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