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16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence
November 25 - December 10
Center for Women's Global Leadership

What is the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign?
The annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign (November 25 to December 10) has been an organizing strategy by individuals and groups from around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Growing out of the Global Center's first Women's Global Leadership Institute in 1991, the Campaign links violence against women and human rights, emphasizing that all forms of violence, whether perpetrated in the public or private sphere, are a violation of human rights. The dates that participants chose for the Campaign symbolically make this link: November 25 marks the International Day Against Violence Against Women and December 10 is International Human Rights Day. The 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including December 1, which is World AIDS Day, and December 6 which marks the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

For the past eleven years, over 1, 000 individuals and organizations from over 100 countries have sponsored activities in their communities during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, November 25 - December 10, to raise awareness about all forms of violence against women. The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence has become an annual event in many towns, states and regions. Activists have used this 16-day period to create a solidarity movement that raises awareness around gender-based violence as a human rights abuse. The movement works to ensure better protection for survivors of violence and calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women.

Creating a Culture that says No to Violence Against Women
Many of the organizations that have been involved in previous 16 Days campaigns, have suggested that this year's campaign activities explore the intersection of culture and violence against women. In all regions of the world, culture has been used by individuals and institutions to support beliefs, norms, practices and institutions that legitimise and perpetuate violence against women. Although culture is still not an easy word to define; we can begin by understanding that culture relates to shared patterns such as values, attitudes, beliefs, rituals, goals and behaviours. These patterns can be seen in all societies; members of communities can share similar cultural practices, times of war can invoke certain attitudes and practices etc. However, it is important to remember that culture is not static; it is always changing. There are creative ways to challenge the cultural patterns in communities, cities and nations. For example, many cultures offer examples of how violent acts targeted at women have been changed. No culture is immune to historical and political change.

During this year's campaign, advocates are encouraged to discuss and strategize around the link between culture and all forms of violence against women: violence that women experience in their homes, in their communities, by the state, by non-state actors, during times of war and during times of peace. It is important that we continue to critically explore and challenge the history and construction of claims that use culture as a justification for violence against women. We must also examine who has constructed or is constructing the cultural beliefs that legitimize violence against women and whose interests are served by these claims. We should question whose cultural views and values are being privileged and why.

The organizing strategies employed by groups during the Campaign vary and reflect the region and its current political situation. We encourage activists to use this 16 day period to raise awareness in student, local, national and regional communities by coordinating events such as tribunals, workshops, festivals, etc. By the beginning of September 2002, the Center for Women's Global Leadership will have compiled a list of suggested activities for this year's campaign (available on-line or by contacting the Center for Women's Global Leadership - see reverse side for contact information). If you have suggestions you would like to share, please send them to us as soon as possible. The International Calendar of Activities from all previous Campaigns can be found on-line at
http://www.cwgl.rutgers.edu and is illustrative of the various organizing strategies that groups have used in the past.

Join the 16 Days electronic discussion!
We invite you to join a new recently launched 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence electronic discussion taking place in the form of a listserv. The discussion will allow activists to collaboratively develop themes and strategies for the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Campaign. In addition, we can use it to discuss how groups are raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels, to uncover and learn from the ways in which activists have strengthened local work around violence against women, to continually resurface the link between local and international work to end violence against women, to share and develop new and effective strategies, to show the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against women, and to help develop further tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women.

If you are interested in joining the discussion or if you have any questions, please contact Lisa M. Clarke at the Center for Women's Global Leadership at
lmclarke@rci.rutgers.edu

Join the 16 Days movement!
Become part of an already existing student, community, national or international activity for the 16 Days or take actions on your own. Submit your planned activity to us for posting to the International Calendar of Campaign Activities and become part of the growing global movement organizing during this time. Your submissions will also enable the Center to refer other individuals/ organizations that are interested in your activities to you. Please send a description of planned activities for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence to:

Lisa M. Clarke, 16 Days Campaign Coordinator, Center for Women's Global Leadership,160 Ryders Lane, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8555, USA. Fax: (1-732) 932-1180. E-mail: lmclarke@rci.rutgers.edu

Submit your materials!
Participants in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign have been instrumental in bringing issues of violence against women to the forefront in local, national, regional and global arenas. The strategies employed by groups and activities organized during the Campaign period continue to be unique and innovative. The Center asks that all participants of the 16 Days Campaign - past as well as present participants - send documentation from their events i.e. posters, pictures, t-shirts, video footage, poems, songs, statements, reports, etc. to the Center (see contact information below). If you have photographs, documents, examples of your work that you can send in an electronic version, please do so and we will post it on the website.

Get Involved - On-line!
The Center will post all information about the Campaign online at
http://www.cwgl.rutgers.edu

Take Action Kit
Contact the Center for Women's Global Leadership to receive a free copy of the Take Action Kit for the 16 Days Campaign. The action kit includes:
- a campaign profile
- a description of dates
- a list of participating organizations and countries
- a bibliography and resource list
- a list of suggested activities
- a current Campaign announcement

Center for Women's Global Leadership,160 Ryders Lane, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8555, USA. Fax: (1-732) 932-1180. E-mail:
lmclarke@rci.rutgers.edu


Lisa M. Clarke
Center for Women's Global Leadership
Douglass College
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
160 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8555 USA
Tel: (1-732)932-8782, x652
Fax: (1-732)932-1180
E-mail:
lmclarke@rci.rutgers.edu

Website: http://www.cwgl.rutgers.edu

Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.

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