Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday, that time of the week where we share 3 videos centered around a feminist theme. This week it’s all about global women who are raising their voices and taking to the streets to protest gender-based violence.
November 25th marked the start of the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The United Nations estimates that at least 1 in 3 women will be sexually or physically assaulted in their lifetime. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
We must continue to advocate for women and girls’ right to live free from gender-based violence. The 2019 campaign’s focus is: “Generation Equality Stands Against Rape!” There are many ways we can act to end rape culture. One of them is to support survivors who decide to speak up. Breaking this silence is an act of courage and resilience.
While the names, times and contexts may differ, women and girls universally experience rape, sexual violence, and abuse, in times of peace or war. Rape is rooted in a complex set of patriarchal beliefs, power, and control that continue to create a social environment in which sexual violence is pervasive and normalized. Exact numbers of rape and sexual assaults are notoriously difficult to confirm due to frequent latitude and impunity for perpetrators, stigma towards survivors, and their subsequent silence.
In recent years, the voices of survivors and activists, through campaigns such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, #Niunamenos, #NotOneMore, #BalanceTonPorc, and others, have put the spotlight on the issue of sexual violence and have reached a crescendo that cannot be silenced or ignored anymore.
Women have made their voices heard all around the world this past month. On November 12, the Swiss feminist group Les Créatives organized a “minute of screaming” at the University of Geneva to denounce violence against women and the lack of measures taken to address this issue. On the 23rd, French feminist collective Nous Toutes organized the biggest ever feminist demonstration to date in France, to protest again feminicide. This year in France, 138 women have been killed by their partners or ex-partners so far, an increase from last year. On November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Chilean feminist group Lastesis organized a powerful demonstration in front of the Ministry’s for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.
Take a look at the videos below and share on social media to raise awareness of this important annual campaign: