The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November, followed by the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, is a time to reflect on, renew, amplify, and strategize to achieve commitments to eliminate violence against women by 2030. This year, the theme is UNITE! Activism to End Violence against Women & Girls. On 25th November 2022, in support of the campaign, the Mukti ACV (Amplifying Community Voices) team joined together to observe the day and organized activities designed to raise public awareness of the issue of gender and sexuality and strategy planning to reduce gender-based violence against women & children.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today. But it remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it. In general terms, it manifests itself in physical, sexual and psychological forms, encompassing intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide), sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber-harassment), human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation), female genital mutilation, and child marriage.
The suffering is much higher among rural women because they do not want to disclose their oppression or take any action due to strong social taboos. The ACV team conducted a meeting and discussed how these taboos can be eliminated from rural areas and how they can help these oppressed women to open up. Strategic plans were made to increase awareness, promote advocacy and create opportunities for discussion of challenges and solutions.