The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Julia Duncan-Cassell is expected today to launch the 16 Days of Activism, a campaign against gender-based violence (GBV), as part of activities to commemorate this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The 16 Days of Activism will be commemorated under a national theme: “For the Health of Women and the Nation; Take Action to End Ebola and Violence Against Women.”
The 16 Days of Activism is done every year, and the campaign provides a rallying point for the government, NGOs, CBOs and other stakeholders across the country to mount events aimed at raising awareness, influencing behavior change and securing high level political commitment to end gender violence.
It is expected to climax on December 10th, which will be Human Rights Day. This date has been chosen to emphasize that violence against women is a violation of human rights.
This year’s campaign will focus on the intersection between violence against women and health, using a collective voice as network members working together on the elimination of gender-based violence.
This year marks the 13th commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism against gender violence campaign in Liberia. The celebration began in Liberia in 2001 under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender and Development and has been commemorated with series of activities throughout the counties.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said, “Women and girls experience violence in all counties and neighborhoods, but these crimes often remain unreported and hidden. We must end the silence.”
Therefore, this year’s 16-Day Campaign in Liberia is a call to action to prevent violence against women.
The Gender Ministry said violence against women has been a silent epidemic for a very long time, however, campaigns to end violence against women and its effect on the Health and wellbeing of women, families and the Nation have increased.
“These campaigns emphasize that women’s rights are human rights and acknowledge the role of patriarchal systems that embody harmful traditions and legal policies that normalize violence against women, and deny women their right to a life of dignity.”
The activities for the 16 days activism are: November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women, November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1 World AIDS Day, December 3, International Day of Disabled Persons, December 6 Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, and December 10, International Human Rights Day.