Sixteen Days of Activism is an annual, global event to raise awareness of, and take action against, gender-based violence.
The event begins on November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women runs until International Human Rights Day on December 10.
The 16 days also includes Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6, created in the aftermath of the 1989 massacre of fourteen women at the École Polytechnique de Montréal.
Sixteen Days of Activism began in 1991, following the first Women’s Global Leadership Initiative. Each year, the campaign adopts a theme—democracy, racism, women’s health and many others. The theme for 2014 is From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World, a focus on links between militarism and gender-based violence.
Violence against women is always an urgent social issue. For Canadians, 2014 has been particularly tragic (and thus newsworthy) with the murder Loretta Saunders and calls for a public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, the death of Rehtaeh Parsons and the precedent-setting trial around cyberbullying, and the high-profile charges against Jian Ghomesi.
During 16 Days of Activism 2014, events will take place in Canada and around the world. Here is a sample:
Cameroon: Talks with workers in barbershops and hair salons. Organizers realize that these are places where people discuss their lives. They hope to bring issues of gender-based violence into the conversation.
Kenya: An online competition among Kenyan bloggers will discuss issues of gender-based violence using media such as poetry, spoken word, dance, rap, photography or art.
Italy: Throughout Palermo, organizers will hold posters with statements about violence against women. Pedestrians, street vendors and others will be invited to have their photo taken with the posters.
Papua New Guinea: To make the point that women do not invite violence by the way they dress, organizers are asking men to wear a meri blouse (dress) for one day.
United Nations: The UN has adopted orange as the colour for this year’s campaign and invites you to “Orange Your Neighbourhood” as a show of action and support.
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia: Join Second Story Women’s Centre at the Lunenburg Fire Hall on Sunday, December 7, 3:30 pm, to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The Centre will honour women who have experienced violence and discuss ways we can work toward a future of peace and hope. Everyone is welcome.