16 Days of Activism – Statements by the Gender Working Group

Orange Day – November 25th, 2022

November 25th marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, also known as Orange Day. Each year, the day is dedicated to spreading awareness of the issue and calling for action to eradicate violence against women. This day is significant as violence against women, particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence, are a global public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights (WHO, 2021).

Read the full statement here

Gender-Based Violence against Young Persons – November 26th, 2022

Gender-based violence, such as sexual, psychological, and economic violence, is perpetrated against girls and boys and is considered a crime. It “undermines the health, dignity, security, and autonomy of its victims” (Save the Children n.d.). Experiencing violence at a young or adolescent age has an immense impact on the development of the young person and often contributes to the end of their childhood.

Read the full statement here

Gender-Based Violence against Elder Women – November 27th, 2022

Violence against Elderly Women is happening around the world. It is an issue that faces strong taboos, deep-rooted sexist and ageist prejudices, stereotypes, and discriminatory cultural and social norms. Whereas “power dynamics and inequalities leading to emotional, financial, material, physical, and sexual violence are likely to exacerbate with older age” (OHCHR 2020). The latest numbers in 2020 showcase that around one in six people aged 60 and above experienced some form of abuse in community settings (OHCHR 2020).

Read the full statement here

Gender-Based Violence against Women in the Criminal Justice System – November 28th, 2022

Once incarcerated, women continue to face gender-based violence as staff members emotionally, verbally, physically, and sexually abuse women or allow/facilitate such abuse by other inmates (Sangoi and Goshin 2014). Forms of reported violence against women in custody vary from inappropriate surveillance during showers or undressing; strip searches conducted by or in the presence of men; and verbal sexual harassment

Read the full statement here

Gender-Based Violence against Pregnant Women and Women with Children – November 29th, 2022

Women in many countries experience great vulnerability due to gender inequalities that find expression in the cultural, social, and economic spheres. The percentage of working women is very low in many countries of the world and, when they do work, there is still a significant gender gap in wages, which not only does not fully recognise the equal value of their ability to work, but often hinders their complete economic autonomy.

Read the full statement here

Gender-Based Violence Against Sex Workers – November 30th, 2022

As showcased earlier, there is a high prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) against women. This prevalence is even higher when it comes to female sex workers. They face increased vulnerability and risk of gender-based violence due to their socio-structural environment. On top of that, female sex workers using substances are at a heightened risk of physical or sexual gender-based violence than those without drug use (Hendrickson 2021).

Read the full statement here

The Negative Impacts of Stigma – December 1st, 2022

Gender-based violence has an immense impact on a person’s self-worth and self-esteem and affects physical as well as mental health and may lead to self-harm, isolation, depression, and suicidal attempts (Council of Europe n.d.). On top of that, persons having been subjected to gender-based violence experience stigma. Research showcased that “stigma exacerbates the negative effects of violence and is associated with re-victimisation, as well as reduced likelihood of help-seeking” (Barnett, Maticka-Tyndale, and Kenya 2016).

Read the full statement here

Gender-Based Violence against Women in Rural Areas – December 2nd, 2022

Women in rural and severely underprivileged areas remain one of the most vulnerable groups to Gender Based Violence and Intimate Partner Violence in their communities and in their homes. To date, information on rural women, their experiences with domestic violence, and social development is both fragmented and inconsistent. The issue of access to justice for rural women has based on the premise that violence against women keeps women in conditions of poverty, and fear of poverty keeps women trapped in violent situations.

Read the full statement here

International Day of Persons with Disabilities – December 3rd, 2022

In light of the 16 days of activism, today’s statement will focus on highlighting the gender-based violence experienced by persons, especially women, with disabilities. The gender-based violence perpetrated against women with disabilities is “often compounded by disability-based discrimination” (ADD International n.d.). Women with disabilities are often perceived as “weak, worthless, and in some cases, subhuman by their societies – and because of that face a heightened risk of domestic and sexual violence [and emotional and verbal abuse]” (Ibid).

Read the full statement here

How to Protect Survivors and Prevent Gender-Based Violence – December 4th, 2022

It is important to act NOW to provide a safe environment for gender-based violence survivors to speak up, recover, and be empowered while increasing preventive measures to reduce the number of persons having experienced violence. How can we help?

Read the steps and ways to be considered to help and protect survivors and prevent GBV in the full statement here

Role of Technology in Gender-Based Violence – December 5th, 2022

In a world with increased use of technology, which is only continuing to grow, it is important to highlight the gender-based violence perpetrated online. Whereas both genders face cyberviolence, women face it in more significant numbers. Gender-based violence facilitated through digital technology can take many forms, such as cyber harassment, bullying, stalking, sex trolling, exploitation, revenge porn, and threats of rape, sexual assault, or murder (Binder and Poulton 2021, Council of Europe n.d.).

Read the full statement here

Gender-Based Violence Against Refugee and Internally Displaced Women and Girls – December 6th, 2022

A group facing a heightened risk of gender-based violence are refugee or internally displaced women and girls. As 80% of the refugee and internally displaced people are children and women, they are left in an increasingly vulnerable position for, for example, physical attacks and sexual assaults (Jensen 2019). Overall, one in five has faced sexual violence and the situation continues to worsen globally (UN 2021)

Read the full statement here

Including the Boy Child in GBV Discussions – December 7th, 2022

This year’s theme to unite to end violence against women and girls also means uniting across social categories and genders. To eradicate violence against women and girls and enhance gender equality, whilst supporting every child to grow healthy and safe, we cannot leave the boy child behind.

Read the full statement here

Gender-Based Violence against the LGBTQIA++ Community – December 8th, 2022

As shown in the previous statements, many face the risk of gender-based violence. Today, we would like to highlight the heightened risk of sexual and physical violence against persons from the LGBTQIA++ experience. Often, the focus on gender-based violence prioritises women within research, awareness campaigns, and policies. However, members of the LGTBQIA++ are often overlooked and under-researched, whereas many face gender-based violence and the consequences cause physical, psychological, and socioeconomic short- and long-term harm

Read the full statement here

Gender-Based Violence against Women without Homes – December 9th, 2022

#utanskyddsnät (#withoutsafetynet) organises girls, women, and transpeople who have suffered GBV in connection with addiction, sexual services for compensation, and criminality. As a consequence of this, many also have experienced homelessness and the additional vulnerability to the violence this creates. Some of our members are currently using drugs or selling sex but many have left it behind. The organisation works against stigma, with peer support, political work, activism, and raising awareness During the #metoo-wave in Sweden in 2017, we published a manifesto.

Here is an excerpt.

International Day of Human Rights – Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All – December 10th, 2022

The last 16 days showcased that gender-based violence is a widespread and deep-rooted issue which is happening at a frequency that is of global concern and calls for action. Today, on the International Day of Human Rights, we once again want to stress the fact that gender-based violence is a violation of various human rights. When gender-based violence is perpetrated, the right to life is affected, the freedom from torture and discrimination is disrespected, and the right to safety and security is not fulfilled (Council of Europe n.d.).

Read the full statement here

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