Today marks the beginning of an annual international UN campaign called 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The campaign begins today, 25 November, and runs until 10 December, on Human Rights Day.
What is the campaign?
But first, let’s start at the beginning. In 1991, the campaign was started by a group of activists at the inauguration of the Women’s Global Leadership Institution. 16 Days of Activism is an advocacy tool that focuses on communities gathering together for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls because women everywhere deserve to feel safe, have equal access, and feel respected by those around them. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
Violence against women in Australia
While, violence against women is a global issue, let’s look at what is happening in Australia.
In January in Australia, violence against women was at a horrific high, with a woman murdered every 5 days. Equally as haunting, a woman is killed by a man she knows every 10 days. This human rights issue impacts the whole of society – how we operate, how we raise our children, what we teach our young people, and what our young people are subconsciously learning. We must do more to eliminate and prevent violence against women and girls.
1 in 5 women has experienced sexual violence by a male.
Women were 3x more likely to have experienced sexual violence by a man they knew than by a stranger.
53% of women were sexually assaulted by a male intimate partner.
In a recent report published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, an estimated 2.2 million adult women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. The trauma of this experience remains a significant part of their life, as it carries short and long-term consequences and impacts.
Although violence can be experienced or perpetrated by anyone, women are disproportionately subjected to violent crimes and are often not heard or believed. This includes, but is not limited to:
- sexual harassment or assault
- human trafficking
- modern slavery
- domestic violence / intimate partner violence
What is violence against women?
We’ve quickly looked at statistics on gender-based violence but we’ve gotten a little ahead of ourselves. Next, let’s look at what violence against women is defined or categorised as.
On an international level, the UN has defined violence against women as,
“The term violence against women means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.”
Here at The Freedom Hub, we want to reaffirm women’s and girl’s fundamental human rights.
“Women are entitled to the equal enjoyment and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. These rights include:
- The right to life;
- The right to equality;
- The right to liberty and security of person;
- The right to equal protection under the law;
- The right to be free from all forms of discrimination;
- The right to the highest standard attainable of physical and mental health;
- The right to just and favourable conditions of work;
- The right not to be subjected to torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Article 4
What is The Freedom Hub’s Part in this campaign?
What does any of this have to do with The Freedom Hub? Great question.
Motivated by the UN’s 16 Days of Activism, The Freedom Hub started 16 Days of Freedom, releasing a daily blog to spread awareness and information about ending violence against women and sharing stories of freedom from modern slavery over the course of sixteen days.
In tomorrow’s article, we will discuss the UN Violence Against Women Day. We encourage you to read and share each article with friends and family, start asking questions about each issue or topic, and support local businesses involved in the 16 Days Campaign.
You can join our High Tea for Human Rights Day (8th Dec) in Waterloo, Sydney, by clicking HERE.
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