THE WHY Supports the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

December 2, 2022

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Pink Saris
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By 
Ivona Petrova

Currently across the world, around 30 million women and girls live as modern-day slaves, suffering physical and sexual violence and forced marriage. Millions of others are in danger of FGM every year, subjected to sexual harassment, rape or other forms of abuse and exploitation.

Gender-Based Violence is one of the most widespread human rights violations across the world and affects people from all gender identities. It is defined as violent acts against a person on the basis of their gender and can include physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economic harm. Rooted in structural power imbalances such as gender inequality and patriarchal social norms, GBV affects women and girls disproportionately more than other groups. 

November 25th marked the beginning of the global ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence’, which continues until the International Human Rights Day on the 10th of December. The campaign inspires action against GBV, from organizations and activists alike, raises awareness, and engages in advocacy and storytelling.

Though there have been enormous global efforts, protests and movements to put a stop to GBV over the years, the magnitude of the issue has not decreased. In fact, in recent years there has been a decline in the rights and well-being of women across the world, from the right to education for girls, to the rise in domestic violence during Covid, and limiting the reproductive rights of women. Despite obstacles, feminist and LGBTQ+ activism and campaigns have kept working towards a world free of Gender-Based Violence. 

One of the most powerful tools for positive social change is education and awareness-raising. Both formal education and other learning experiences can contribute to critical thinking and change in beliefs and behaviour, especially for young people. While raising awareness on an issue is not guaranteed to lead to action, it sets the groundwork for inspiring actions which reshape societies, like social movements and campaigns, and even inspire political change. In this way, educating people on an issue is a key part of creating lasting change, a change inspired by the people themselves.

This year THE WHY is joining the 16 Days campaign, using our strongest asset to shed light on this issue- documentary films. We have selected 16 documentaries, short films and filmmaker interviews which give accounts of many different types of GBV through real-life stories. With our 16 Days of activism, we bring valuable information from the perspective of the marginalized with the intention to bring these stories to light and highlight their importance. We believe the more awareness there is of all forms of GBV, the more people will be inspired to make a difference and demand change for gender equality everywhere.

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