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16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an annual global campaign initiated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL) which runs from November 25, International Day against Violence against Women, through December 10, International Human Rights Day.

The campaign's recent focus has been on the intersections of militarism and violence against women, and this theme will continue during the 2012 campaign “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let's Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!”

Militarism harms all of society and remains a principle source and cause of violence against women. Militarism privileges violent forms of masculinity, promotes violence as a means of conflict resolution, facilitates the proliferation of arms and diverts resources away from gender equality, sustainable development and conflict prevention activities. Militarism not only has material and institutional impacts; it shapes cultural and psychological attitudes and reinforces rigid gender roles that subordinate women to men in public and private spheres.

The connection between violence against women and militarization has been a core of WILPF's agenda for almost 100 years (see WILPF's ongoing campaign “You get what you pay for”), and this is now gaining global momentum. Thanks to the efforts of feminist peace and security researchers, we now have the benefit of a growing evidence base to support our activism- which unequivocally demonstrates the strong link between state security and women's security. We can no longer afford to ignore the connection between militarization and women's security – this is the new ‘realpolitik'.

So how can you become involved in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence and support disarmament for gender equality? Here are the steps WILPF suggests to get you started:

Step 1: Review the 16 Days Campaign website and Take Action Kit

Step 2: Form a Project Team & Planning Committee

Step 3: Research SIPRI Data

Step 4: Read WILPF's “You Get What You Pay For”

Step 5: Start your own country or global analysis on Military spending & gender violence

Step 6: Report your findings to WILPF and the Center for Women's Global Leadership (16 Days Campaign)

This year WILPF have created a special campaign logo, merging WILPF's own logo with the dark purple colour of the official campaign. Our sections around the world are planning actions, and if you are a member of a WILPF section we encourage you to share you activities with us, so we can promote them. As part of the campaign WILPF will also be releasing 16 blogs – one for every day of the campaign. You can follow our blogs at the new WILPF International website.

If want to become a member, or establish a local WILPF section please contact us at PeaceWomen or WILPF International.

Download the WILPF 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign Flyer here.