Rachel Milton | Oct 01, 2016 https://www.womankind.org.uk/blog
The International Day of Non Violence is a day to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness” with “the desire to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence.”
Violence against women is an urgent issue
On this day, it is important to spread awareness and information about violence against women and girls because it is still an urgent issue around the world.
There cannot be true peace until violence against women ends. Around the world, women cannot not even experience peace in their own homes: Our research, From the Ground Up, found that women tended to have a broader understanding of peace which includes peace at the household level and focuses on the attainment of individual rights and freedoms such as education and healthcare. Importantly, across all the countries researched, women associated violence against women, and specifically domestic violence, as a key barrier to peace.
The United Nations defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
1 in 3 women will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. That is an unbelievably high statistic for 2016.
What works in combatting violence
Womankind’s partners, grassroots women’s rights organisations, are helping to end violence against women and girls. As we stated in our submission to the House of Lords for Sexual Violence Inquiry: “Women’s rights organisations and movements are important catalysts in interventions to promote greater gender equality, realise women’s rights and end violence against women and girls.”
Women’s rights organisations are finding the fundamental causes of violence against women and girls, such as deep-rooted social norms and patriarchal structures, and creating solutions against them. They are empowering girls and confronting the negative social norms.
Our partners are empowering women and girls to have agency, to know their rights, and to claim their rights. “70 countries found the mobilisation of feminist movements is more important for combating violence against women then the wealth of nations, left wing political parties, or the number of women politicians.”
Independent women’s rights organisations are one of the best ways to help put an end to violence against women and girls.
What can you do to help
Women’s rights organisations need greater support, solidarity and funding to help fight against violence against women and girls. What’s more, the funding they need is long-term, core and flexible funding so they can remain strong in the fight against violence.
Finally, in order for there to be real and effective change, women’s rights organisations should play a pivotal role in shaping services to protect and support survivors. Our More Than a Roof report proved that women working with women is the best way to approach violence against women and girls.
So, when you are observing International Day of Non-Violence, remember that the fight to end violence against women and girls is still going on.
Find our more about how you can help.