16 Days of Action: End Violence Against Women
At the heart of this year’s theme for our second-anniversary march is “End Violence Against Women” because we find it imperative to expose the magnitude of sexual harassment and other forms of violence that women suffer everywhere, every day worldwide.
One in three women and girls experience violence in their lifetime — that is one too many. Too often, it is normalised and left unpunished. No matter where violence against women happens, what form it takes, and whom it impacts, it must be stopped. By focusing “End Violence Against Women” as the major theme for our second-anniversary march, we at Women’s March Global have joined the UNiTE Campaign in solidarity to show our support to women all across the globe and join the movement to end violence against women.
The World Health Organization (WHO), indicates that about 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
Violence against women goes beyond the interpersonal, direct violence that is captured in gender-based violence research and advocacy like domestic abuse, rape, femicides. The institutional, indirect, and state-sanctioned violence is also at the core of the misogynist world that Women’s March Global is fighting.
Violence against women is pervasive throughout the world. It is a complex web of social norms, institutional practices, and cultural values that weaves its way through the entirety of women’s lives.
According to the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, institutional or structural violence is ‘any form of structural inequality or institutional discrimination that maintains a woman in a subordinate position, whether physical or ideological, to other people within her family, household or community’.
Research suggests that women with disabilities are more likely to experience domestic violence, emotional abuse, and sexual assault than women without disabilities. In 2012, 1.3 million violent crimes — including rape and physical assault — occurred against people with disabilities and that number has been steadily increasing since 2008, making people with disabilities one of the most harmed groups in the United States.
These alarming statistics are what drives Women’s March Global and their communities to bring attention to the issue, understand its prevalence around the world and develop action-oriented solutions and steps that will enable women to have a voice, and ultimately contribute to their peace and safety.
The 16 Days of Action against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign that takes place each year. It commences on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.
Tenzin Kyisarh is the Communications Manager for Women’s March Global.