Call for Action: The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

16 Days of Action against Gender Violence is a global campaign initiated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL) and will take place from November 25th to December 10th, 2011.

Like the 16 Days Campaign, WILPF's aims and objectives are to bring together women of different political beliefs and philosophies who are united in their determination to study, make known and help abolish the causes and legitimization of war; particularly militarism and patriarchy.

In 2011, the WILPF 16 days for Action Campaign will center around the slogan “Blow the Whistle to Redefine Security”. During the 16 days Campaign, WILPF will be calling for the reduction of military spending, the redefining of security, and for the challenging of those profiting from conflict.

16 WILPF national sections from around the world in all regions will take part in the campaign.

DRC: Public education seminars will be held in 4 provinces of DRC and outreach activities focusing on the upcoming election and promoting women's participation will be conducted in each of the WILPF branch locations. WILPF DRC will also be holding seminars to address SCR 1325 and to provide education on the linkage between violence against women and violence in society with participants given the opportunity for exchange with women political candidates.

Sweden: In Sweden a screening of the Whistleblower will be held on the 25th of November with a seminar on Impunity to take place on 5th of December.

WILPF International will be holding a conference in Geneva on December 1st and 2nd. The aim of this two-day conference is to bring together experts in different branches of international law to discuss new strategies and advocacy opportunities to advance the protection and promotion of human rights. The conference will involve discussions on how different legal instruments fail to interconnect.

UK: The UK Section of WILPF will convene a conference on Violence Against Women in Peace and War in Leicester on November 26, participate in Reclaim the Night in London, and take part in the Autumn Seminar: Challenge Militarism held by the Amnesty Human Rights Action Centre on December 3rd.

India: The upper house of the Indian Parliament, has appointed a committee under one Member of Parliament to look at making changes to particular legislation aiding women victims of inter-familial violence. Added in 1983, this legislation provides an opportunity for Indian Women to access their rights in this area and has been a key component of rights legislation since 1983. The Indian 16 days campaign will be focused on fighting to have the legislation retained, as section 498-A of Indian Penal Code.

Nigeria: The Nigerian section of WILPF proposes to run a seminar on Women, Peace, and Security from the Nigerian perspective. We hope to look at the total picture of peace and security, what it means to the average Nigerian woman, the role of Nigeria's diverse culture in relation to 1325, and how it can be effectively used to promote and protect the rights of women.

USA: The US section of WILPF has outlined three main actions to be carried out during the 16 days campaign. Firstly U.S.WILPF members have been encouraged by national office to organize whistle blowing demonstration at their local municipal buildings or Occupy movements to draw attention to the dangers of militarism and war culture that perpetuates violence against women. Secondly, participants are being encouraged to record short videos of themselves and other attendees answering the questions “What does security mean to you?”. Finally, participants are being encouraged to complete WILPF's online Call to Action survey.

Pakistan:The Pakistan section of WILPF has developed a series of initiatives for the 16 days campaign, which will include their holding of an event for every day of the campaign. Some of the highlights include participation on November 25 in a joint event, hosted by UNWomen in Islamabad to inaugurate the 16 days campaign, a visit to a women's IDP camp near Peshawar on November 28, a session with local police on EVAW to be held on the 6th of December, the running of aseminar to demand inclusion of women in District Peace Committees on December 7th and finally a Press Briefing on 10 December to highlight the work of WILPF and that of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize recipients.

To view the rest of WILPF Sections plans for the 16 Days Campaign, visit our website.