Violence in our society is often the symptom of deeper social problems. Enduring violence and abuse is the reality of many Pakistani women children and other vulnerable which together, we can change by standing up and speaking out.
The International 16 Days of Activism campaign focuses on generating an increased awareness of the negative impact that violence and abuse have on women and children, and the social fabric of our society.
The Global 16 Days Campaign is one of the longest-running campaigns in the world. Since its inception, the Campaign has linked local and global activism to amplify feminist voices and secure accountability for women’s human rights by transcending borders and bridging movements. It remains relevant to those whose dignity is threatened.
The rights of women and children are fundamental human rights protected by our national Constitution. Gender-based and child violence, in all its different forms, devalues human dignity and the self-worth of the abused person and must be stopped in our society. The campaign can only succeed if we stand together to safeguard our society against this cycle of abuse.
The Global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, launched by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at its first Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991, has gained traction in more than 187 countries, with participation from over 6,000 organizations and a reach of over 300 million. The Campaign, which runs annually from 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day) has been used effectively by a variety of actors working to advance women’s human rights. Grass-roots women’s organizations, national, regional and international non-governmental organizations, as well as United Nations agencies and governments, raise awareness, mobilize constituents, demand accountability and showcase progress on eliminating gender-based violence (GBV). The Global 16 Days Campaign is underpinned by feminist values, human rights principles and the belief that a world without violence is possible.
When the Campaign was initiated, its aim was twofold: to raise awareness of GBV and to recognize violence against women as a human rights violation. To address those challenges, CWGL, along with its core partners, engaged in reframing the Campaign, shifting its focus from awareness to accountability. It introduced a multi-year global theme and task and acknowledged the critical role of the media in reporting on GBV.
2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the Global 16 Days Campaign. Inspired by the original vision and history of the Campaign, which focused on raising awareness about violence against women (VAW), In addition to being aimed at raising awareness about and eradicating gender-based violence, the 16 days of activism is also a campaign aimed at raising awareness about gender inequalities and the stereotypes that exist about gender. Gender inequality and gender stereotypes affect the everyday lives of women and marginalized genders in insidious but significant ways.
In the context of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa National Human Rights Institutions in Pakistan Such as the National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission on Status of Women and Child Welfare & Protection Commission are playing an important role in Upholding the rights and dignity of those who are marginalized or forgotten.
Unlike other parts of the world, there is no regional protection system in Asia that people can turn to when their rights are violated. This makes the role of NHRIs in our region even more critical. In recent years Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission on Status of Women (KPCSW) in collaboration with the Women Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) has done tremendous work to build fair, just and inclusive communities where women can live with dignity, free from violence and discrimination by introducing progressive legislation and policy reforms.
The world in the last two years has endured unprecedented social, economic and political disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, crises are never gender-neutral and COVID-19 was no differentCOVID-19 has presented us with new challenges, which call for individual and collective solutions. Let’s continue our efforts all year round from 16 to 365 days of activism, to advance the human rights of women. A world without violence is possible and this moment demands unparalleled courage and joint action to make this vision a reality
NGOs, NHRIs and Government must work together to create a cultural shift towards supporting survivors, breaking the silence around gender-based violence and providing education about gender equality.