BRIDGE joins anti gender-based violence campaign

Women singing at a Million Women Rise march

One third of women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence – mostly by an intimate partner.

It’s because of statistics like these, and more importantly the people and stories behind them, that the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence takes place each year. 

The campaign can be traced back to 1991 when the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) convened the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute (WGLI). The participants, who came from different countries across the world, established the campaign, linking the International Day Against Violence Against Women on 25 November and International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

Since then over 5,478 organisations and countless individuals from over 180 countries worldwide have taken part, calling for an end to gender-based violence and  better accountability on the part of governments, organisations and communities.

The theme for this year’s 16 Days Campaign is ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All’. The focus is on the relationship between the right to education and militarism as ‘an encompassing patriarchal system of discrimination and inequality based on our relationships to power.’

CWGL points out that the right to education is subject to social shifts and upheavals, ‘leaving certain groups (especially women, girls, people with disabilities, LGBTQI people, migrants, and indigenous people) particularly vulnerable and liable to being denied this crucial right.’ It’s also highlighted that the world hasn’t got its priorities right: in 2014, global military spending was $1.8 trillion, while there is thought to be a $26 billion financing gap to achieve basic education for all by end of 2015.

Girls and young women are the most negatively impacted by insecurity and crisis: it is estimated that 31 million girls at primary level and 34 million at lower secondary level are not enrolled in school. Approximately half of the 58 million children of primary school age who do not have access to education live in conflict affected areas. 

Girls and women face other potential barriers to education, such as early or forced marriage, the threat of school-related gender-based violence, including sexual violence – such as abuse on the way or within education settings and a lack of things lie accessible sanitary facilities. All these risks can also mean that some families choose to keep girls away from school. 

During the 16 Days campaign the Institute of Development Studies will be highlighting some of our work on sexual and gender-based violence, gender, education and militarism – as well as the work of our partners and friends around the world. Each day we will be sharing something new – from academic research to blog posts and films. Keep an eye on this Storify and follow#16Days on social media. Get in touch with anything else to add on bridge[at]

Top right photo by Hannah Nicklin, under a CC License.