Sixteen Days of Activism is an international campaign surrounding the worldwide issue of gender-based violence. It is held from 25th November to 10th December annually, due to these specific dates – 25th November is the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and 10th December is Human Rights Day, worldwide. The 2018 theme is OrangeTheWorld: #HearMeToo. The colour theme was initially chosen by UNiTE because, as quoted by Chisomo Phiri, NUS Wales’ Women’s Officer, ‘it represents the bright future that women deserve and need.’
The International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women is a day that originally began in 1991. These sixteen days thereafter have been adopted as a platform for activism, awareness and remembrance of the women that have been victims of violence. The United Nations defines violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life." This definition touches on issues that women face from physical harm to simply being unable to have access to their own finances or friends.
While we are still having the incredibly important linear violence against women at the heart of our activities, this year TSDSU have decided to expand our reach into multiple different areas. From remembrance of the women that have lost their lives through gender-based violence, to the recognition and celebration of women that inspire us and empower us on a daily basis, we are hoping to open the doors to discussion and interaction from all genders and all experiences on this subject.
We are doing it because two women a week in England and Wales are killed by their partners – over 100 women a year lose their life to domestic violence.
We are doing it because only 24% of domestic abuse cases are ever reported to the police.
We are doing it because in a survey for Amnesty International, over 1 in 4 respondents thought a woman was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was wearing sexy or revealing clothing.
We are doing it because trans women are 28% more likely to experience domestic violence than those that are cisgender.
It has been long regarded as a ‘behind closed doors issue’, but it time for women to feel like they can speak up – gender-based violence is not a one-size-fits-all issue and therefore it is up to us: as friends, as activists, as women, to stand up for those that cannot stand up for themselves.
It is very simple – get involved with the conversation! Attend our events, start discussions with friends and family, and get in on the activism! There are small ways of getting involved happening cross-campus, so no matter which campus you are on you can help! Check the timetable on social media of events that we have planned, or alternatively if you want to run your own activity during this time, then please get in touch and we can help!
You can also spread the word via social media using the hashtags #16Days, #HearMeToo and #OrangeTheWorld and tagging us as @TSDSU on your social media platforms.