Push forward: 10 ways to end violence against women

According to the UN Women – Arab States, violence against women and girls remains the most pervasive human rights violation in the world, affecting more than 1 in 3 women—a figure that has remained largely unchanged over the last decade.

Ending violence against women is everyone’s business. This 16 Days, show your solidarity with feminist movements and advocates around the world. Whether you’re a seasoned activist or just getting started, here are ten ways you can act now to end violence against women and girls:

  • Speak up, speak out

Violence against women is pervasive, but it’s not inevitable—unless we stay silent. In the face of rising anti-feminist movements, it’s more crucial than ever that we speak up and out.

Taboos around gender-based violence provide perpetrators with impunity and prevent women and girls from getting the help they need: less than 40 per cent of women who experience violence seek help of any sort.

  • Know the issue—and the signs

Violence against women manifests itself in a variety of ways. It can be physical, sexual, or emotional in nature. It can be done in public or in private, online or offline, by a stranger or an intimate partner. It has serious short- and long-term consequences for women and girls, regardless of how, where, or why it occurs, and serves to prevent their full and equal participation in society.

  • Call out sexual harassment

For many women, sexual harassment is a daily experience. Whether it’s online, on the street or in the workplace, brushing off inappropriate behavior serves to further normalize it.

  • Challenge beliefs on masculinity

Toxic masculinity drives violence against women.

Evidence shows that women in relationships with men whose beliefs and behaviors reinforce male dominance and gender inequality are more likely to experience intimate partner violence.

  • Fund women’s organizations

Investing in women’s movements matters.

Evidence shows that a strong and autonomous feminist movement is the most crucial factor in driving policy change on gender-based violence. But women’s rights organizations, key drivers of feminist mobilization, are increasingly being defunded, sidelined and silenced in decision-making spaces.

  • Call for better responses and services

Services for women and girls experiencing violence can be the difference between life and death.

This means that shelters, hotlines, counseling and all support for survivors of gender-based violence need to be available for those in need, even during crises and emergencies.

  • Demand more data

To effectively combat gender-based violence, we need to understand the issue.

Relevant data collection is key to implementing successful prevention measures and providing survivors with the right support. And yet the collection of sex-disaggregated and other crucial gender data remains a low priority for governments.

  • Push for stronger laws

We are still 21 years away from comprehensive laws banning violence against women to be in place globally.

The world needs stronger protection mechanisms to prevent and eliminate violence, harassment, threats, intimidation, and discrimination against women human rights defenders and women’s rights advocates and activists.

  • Support women’s leadership

Women’s representation in decision-making spaces helps to ensure that the needs of women and girls are front and center—in crisis responses, humanitarian and peace agreements and policies of all kind. At the same time, women leaders face heightened risk of violence: across 5 regions, 82 per cent of women parliamentarians reported experiencing some form of psychological violence during their terms.

10-Build solidarity with other movements

We’re stronger when we work together.

Strengthen the fight against gender-based violence by getting involved in other social and political movements, and getting activists from those movements involved in yours.

Together, we can resist the rollback on women’s rights, amplify the demands of feminist movements across the world and push forward to end violence against women and girls once and for all.

 

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