International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women and 16 Days of Activism
Friday 25th November marks this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, an international campaign created in 1991 to raise awareness and challenge all forms of gender based violence directed and targeted at women and girls purely because they are women and girls, and/or any form of violence which disproportionately affects women and girls. Violence against women and girls is an umbrella term which recognises the persisting inequalities between men and women, and the discrimination and oppression experienced by women and girls around the world.
Friday 25th November also signals the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence which runs until the 10th December – Human Rights Day, which aims to raise public awareness and mobilise men and women everywhere to bring about change. This year, the UN Secretary-General’s Unite to End Violence against Women campaign invites people to ‘Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence against Women and Girls’ using the colour designated by the UNiTE campaign to symbolize a brighter future without violence.
A striking element of tomorrow’s “call to orange” is the fact that it signifies yet another year passing without the UK’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention. Whilst the UK signed this agreement in 2012, highlighting their intention to comply in the future, they have yet to ratify the Istanbul Convention, which means they would be legally bound to comply and address violence against women fully in all its forms, taking measures to prevent violence, protect victims and prosecute the perpetrators. The convention leaves no doubt: there can be no real equality between men and women if women experience gender-based violence on a large-scale and state agencies and institutions turn a blind eye.
ICchange has been working tirelessly in calling for the ratification of this convention, of which we fully support. We will therefore be using our 16 days of activism to write letters to MPs in the South London boroughs we work in to provide support to the ratification of such a vital document. ICchange has templates which you can download here in case you would like to add your voice to the call, as well as sign the petition.
Together we are powerful and together we can bring about real change.