16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. Issue No. 102, November 2013

November 2013
Issue number: 

Feature on 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign including:

  • Key publications on this year’s overall theme ‘Let’s challenge militarism and end violence against women.’
  • Updates on BRIDGE and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) activities during the 16 days of the campaign at http://bit.ly/bridge16days

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an annual international campaign that starts on 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day. The campaign aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international level.

This year’s theme is ‘Let’s challenge militarism and end violence against women’, which advocates for awareness and action on the many intersections of gender-based violence and militarism, while highlighting the connection between the struggle for economic and social rights and ending gender-based violence.

In support of the campaign, various teams at the Institute of Development Studies have come together to promote key initiatives and actors working in this disturbing yet essential development area. From 25 November – 10 December we will be featuring blogs, interviews and resources on the BRIDGE, Eldis and IDS websites that relate to the 16 days of Activism subthemes which underlie the theme of militarism:

  • Violence Perpetrated by State Actors
  • Domestic Violence and the Role of Small Arms
  • Sexual Violence During and After Conflict

This BRIDGE update features just six key resources on these subthemes, but to find more visit the BRIDGE website and type ‘16Days2013’ into the search field. There are over 30 resources featured, including some French and Spanish resources.

Visit http://bit.ly/bridge16days for updates on BRIDGE and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) activities during the 16 days of the campaign.

Supporting Resources: 

Bartels, S. (2010) 'Now, the world is without me' An investigation of sexual violence in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Oxfam International

When, where and how are women being attacked and what makes them vulnerable to sexual violence in South Kivu? How has the rape epidemic in South Kivu evolved over the last five years? This report looks at how rape was used as a strategic wartime weapon and the impacts of this gross human rights violation on women who have been systematically raped by combatant forces.


Asoka, K. (2012) Global report on the situation of women human rights defenders, Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition

This extensive report was produced between 2005 and 2012 by members of the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition. It includes 43 detailed case studies selected by coalition members. The first section focuses on the context in which women human rights defenders (WHRDs) work. Several issues are discussed, including fundamentalisms, which pose particular risks for WHRDs, as the work they do is seen as challenging established sexual norms and patriarchal power structures. The dangers that WHRDs face in militarised environments are also covered, along with the fact that their contributions as agents of change in peace processes are often unrecognised. Another topic is globalisation and the role of WHRDs in challenging violations of indigenous rights, labour and land rights. Democracy and governance crises are also emphasised, as WHRDs draw attention to human rights violations committed by both state and non-state actors. Finally the consequences for WHRDs who challenge heteronormativity are explored, with those working on sexual and reproductive rights and LGBTI rights facing particular risks of retaliation and discrimination.


Agency for Co-operation and Research in Development (ACORD) (2009) Making the law count: a five country judicial audit, ACORD

This document gives an overview of ACORD’s audit of the legal frameworks around sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, DRC and Burundi. The audit recommends several interventions to address SGBV in legislative frameworks, including:

  • Ensuring that national legislation and accountability mechanisms are in place
  • Encouraging transformative interventions from the community level
  • Skill building for handling SGBV within the police force
  •  Judicial training on SGBV
  •  Promoting SGBV sensitive health infrastructure
  •  Strengthening civil society capacity for advocacy and monitoring
  •  Partnerships with the media to help change perceptions of SGBV


Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), (2012) Our Bodies Are Still Trembling: Haitian Women’s Fight Against Rape, IJDH

This report outlines evidence showing that the rape of women and girls dramatically increased in the aftermath of the devastating January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, especially in Internally Displace People (IDP) camps. In the first two months after the earthquake a grassroots women’s organisation reported 230 rapes in just fifteen IDP camps. The research featured in this report was largely carried out through interviews with over 50 survivors of rape from over 10 different camps. The research was carried out by the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) in collaboration of U.S lawyers, community researchers and women’s health specialists, to investigate the patterns and prevalence of rape and gender-based violence (GBV) against women and girls in these camps in Port AU Prince, with the purpose of collecting evidence to potentially pursue legal cases.


Why Women? Effective engagement for small arms control

These briefs summarise the main findings and recommendations of the report ‘Why Women? Effective engagement for small arms control’. They outline some of the reasons why women should participate in small arms control and disarmament, which include:

  • All women are affected by armed violence both directly and indirectly. Small arms can facilitate and aggravate violence against women and girls both in peace and conflict situations, and increase the chances that domestic violence results in a fatality.
  • Women are often active in security issues both formally and informally and at various levels. However, while women’s participation at the local and national levels has had positive effects, their involvement usually happens in an informal way and women continue to be excluded from formal decision-making processes about peace and security issues.

Gender Self-Assessment Guide for the Police, Armed Forces and Justice Sector, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces

A gender-responsive security sector institution is one that both meets the distinct and different security and justice needs of men, women, boys and girls; and promotes the full and equal participation of men and women. This self-assessment guide is a tool for assessing the gender responsiveness of a security sector institution, in particular police services, armed forces and justice sector institutions. The guide shows how to conduct an assessment of an institution, create an action plan to move the organisation forward, and monitor and evaluate the plan’s implementation. It also includes case studies from New Zealand, United States and Netherlands.

People in street with messages