#HearMeToo: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

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Since 1991 a gender justice campaign from the 25th of November, International day for Elimination of Violence against Women, to the 10th of December, Human Rights Day, has been running. During the 16 Days of Activism there is a heightened focus on ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV). This is a world-wide problem, and as a result everyone has an interest, and a part to play, in seeing it end. Every year they choose an area or theme for the campaign, and this year the official theme from UN Women is #HearMeToo.

Side by Side wants to make sure that the voices of faith leaders and faith actors are also heard. As eighty-four percent of the world’s population self-identify as members of a faith group these voices are of great value. Especially because religious voices are too often seen as equal to condoning gender injustice. It is important to highlight that they can just as well be, and are, a part of the solution. Side by Side plans to amplify that faith actors have a responsibility and an opportunity to shift the norms and values in relation to gender justice.

“Guardians of customs, including faith leaders, must therefore play a core role in shifting from discriminatory social norms that condone gender injustice to positive social norms that uphold equal rights and condemn gender-based violence.” (Side By Side Advocacy Briefing).

Side by Side recently published an advocacy briefing that includes inspirational cases where faith actors have made a difference in shifting the attitudes, laws or norms in favour of gender justice. During the 16 Days of Activism we will share more stories from our national and regional chapters concerning the work that is done everyday to close the gender-gap and end GBV in their communities.

In addition to these stories our different chapters are contributing to the 16 Days in other ways as well. In East-Africa they are holding a regional conference; in Scotland they are incorporating gender justice into a worship service that is held on the 25th of November; in Zimbabwe they are encouraging everyone to take steps towards gender justice in their own lives; and in Uganda they are coordinating a gender justice run – to mention a few of the initiatives.

We encourage everyone to take a stand to end GBV during the 16 Days of Activism, follow the stories that will be highlighted, and to continue to follow the great work that is done in the different Side by Side chapters.

 

Written by Ane Lemvik, Side by Side Intern

Posted by: Rachel Tavernor | Friday, October 19th, 2018
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