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16 Days of Action to Eliminate Violence Against Women

November 14, 2012

What’s On in Glasgow

16 Days of Action For The Elimination of Violence Against Women runs from  the  25th November to the 10th December when organisations  worldwide raise awareness of violence against women.

In 1991 the 16 Days Campaign was envisioned by women from around the world who met together at the first meeting of the Women’s Global Leadership Institute. It is thanks to their efforts and that of many women’s rights activists around the world that 16 Days is the huge success and phenomenon that it is today.

The global theme for this years campaign is ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women’. In the words on one woman acitivist ‘How can we have peace in the world

when there is war in the home”. For many women from Glasgow to Gaberone home is not the place they can relax knowing that their wellbeing will be taken care of instead it is the place where they are most likely to experience hurt, harm or danger.

In simple terms, the focus for this year’s 16 Days will bring together  women, peace and human rights movements to challenge miltarism and their values which allow violence and discrimination to continue. It is already well documented that the use of force, coercion and sexual violence in countries where there is armed conflict disproportionately affects women and young women are especially vulnerable by their age and gender. We know that in many countries rape is used as a weapon of war and is a clear manifestation of militaristic attitudes. Rape and sexual abuse are not just a by product of war but is now used as a military strategy. More generally militarism serves to create a culture of fear and emabraces the view that violence is an effective way to solve problems in society. However this is not just an issue for overseas forces but also an issue for armed forces families in the UK. Domestic abuse is hidden from public view and women who serve in the military are sometimes at risk from harassment and sexual assault from their collegues.

With a theme as wide and far reaching as this it can be difficult to pinpoint how we can specifically link the campaign to people in Glasgow. However, some members of the asylum and refugee population in the city may relate to aspects of the theme as well as Glaswegians who have links with the British Military. However for the 11,090 people most of whom were women, who reported domestic abuse in Glasgow in 2011/12 to Strathclyde Police they will be able to make connections with this theme. More generally, it is important that we are all made aware of the links between military structures, gender and violence against women.

From: 16 Days 2012

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