According to a study by the World Health Organisation this year, 35% of women worldwide have experienced a form of violence. More than 64 million girls worldwide are child brides, and national violence studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime from an intimate partner.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence was set up to raise awareness of the endemic nature of gender-based violence, to strengthen work against it, and to demonstrate the solidarity of women throughout the world organising to eliminate such violence. The dates November 25 - International Day Against Violence Against Women - and December 10 - International Human Rights Day -symbolically link violence against women and human rights to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights.
This year’s theme ‘Militarism – from peace in the home to peace in the world’ - chosen for the second consecutive time - speaks to its continued relevance. The last 12 months have seen escalated violence and instability: political uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East; separatism, insurgency and intervention in Mali; the repression of civil society protest in Sudan; and devastating civil war in Syria, to name just some examples.