On the 25th of November the 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence campaign was launched for the third year running by the CWGL (Centre for Women’s Global Leadership). The campaign’s theme is “from Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Ch …

Samantha Ritchie

On the 25th of November the 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence campaign was launched for the third year running by the CWGL (Centre for Women’s Global Leadership). The campaign’s theme is “from Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women.” This campaign is set up to raise awareness and trigger action to tackle this is issue around the world.

Currently, in the UK, 45% of women have experienced a form of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Furthermore, a survey by Amnesty International highlighted that over 1 in 4 respondents thought a women was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was wearing sexy or revealing clothing, and more than 1 in 5 held the same view if a women had many sexual partners. These statistics highlight that there are still cultural problems when it comes to violence against women and they need tackled. Raising awareness from this campaign is vital.

In 1992, CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women) implemented the following recommendations that states should take “appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women by any person.” This recommendation (19) also highlighted that “states may also be responsible for private acts if they fail to act with due diligence to prevent violations or to investigate and punish acts of violence.” This was a momentous moment as it was recognised that domestic violence is a human rights violation.

Moreover, ex UN General Kofi Annan stated that;

“Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation, and it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development, and peace.”

Violence against women includes violence in the family, violence against women in the community and gender-based violence perpetrated or condoned by the state.

The Council of Europe (CoE) highlighted that the leading cause of death and disability for women aged between 16-44 is violence from a domestic partner. But, all around Europe austerity measures are being implemented. Public services are being decimated and wiped out completely. A recent report by the European Women’s Lobby stated “these cuts make women’s voices even less heard in society and force NGOs providing vital services to women to reduce their services, at a time when these voices and services are needed more than ever.” In times of austerity, incidents of domestic violence increase and just like this report highlights we need to have these vital services in communities across Europe. For example, looking at Scotland, the numbers of domestic violence incidents are steadily increasing each year. However, the Scottish conviction rate for rape is at an all-time low of 3.7%.

Government’s nowadays are so quick to resort to cutting public services to resolve the debt issues in their country and issues seem to be getting worse. Austerity is not the answer. It’s not working.

Please support this campaign and raise awareness on the effects of violence against women so we can trigger action on this issue around the world.

For more information on the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign please click here

 

 

 


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Samantha Ritchie