16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign
GPPAC is participating in the 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. Marking the 25th year of the Campaign, this year's theme is: "From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All." This theme recognises that structural discrimination and inequality is perpetuated in a cycle of violence that does not end even when girls and young women are getting an education. Gender-based violence with respect to the right to education is a consistent threat in public spaces, schools, and homes and is a detriment to the universal human right to education. It is our obligation to focus on the precarious situation of education for girls and boys, young women and men this year through the Campaign.
For the Campaign, our members in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ghana, and Uganda are organising various events to raise awareness of this issue.
Our member, Armenian Committee of Helsinki Citizens' Assembly will organise a roundtable discussion on Women, Peace and Security issues in the local context, and a presentation of UNSCR 1325 for women from five rural areas around the conflict-affected town of Goris in Southern Armenia. This region is located on the border with Azerbaijan and was badly damaged during the armed conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Many of the women living here have lost loved ones and homes. Although there is a ceasefire agreement, a peace treaty has not been signed and the conflict is not resolved. The opinions, thoughts, and special needs of rural women directly affected by the war are not heard in decision-making on peace and security issues and not taken into account in peace talks. The roundtable aims to improve the knowledge and skills of women from this region in the peacebuilding process, to prevent possible escalation of the conflict and the inevitable violence against women during military operations.
The prevalent type of sexual and gender-based violence in Azerbaijan is domestic violence. Cultural stigma prevents women from talking about it openly. The only available data comes from research conducted by women's civil society organisations. In addition to this, several forms of military violence against women committed by military personnel have also occurred.
Our member, Women Problems Research Union will raise awareness about domestic violence in Azerbaijan by distributing labelled key rings and 2017 calendars inscribed with "Stop Violence Against Women" among men, male IDPs and members of the military, in Baku and Pirshagi village, Azerbaijan.
The Center for Conflict Resolution, our member based in Kampala, will hold peace education sessions with selected secondary school students, teachers, and community members on 21 - 22 November. The sessions aim to raise awareness of structural discrimination (in the form of cultural and religious beliefs) on access to education for women and girls. The sessions focus on culturally perceived gender roles and their changing trend, highlighting the importance of an educated girl to the family, community and nation. Finally, they strive to commit the participants to be agents of change with an action plan.
Our member, WANEP Regional, through the WIPNET programme in collaboration with the Ghana Working group on Women, Peace and Security will hold a One day ‘Saving our Girls' advocacy campaign. The campaign consists of a roundtable discussion and a press conference that mobilises community members to collectively work against girls who are prevented from going to school due to being victims of sexual crimes. The activities will involve delegates from critical women's groups, young people, parents, teachers and local policymakers from Sefwi Wiaso, Western Ghana.
In addition to these events, we will also organise a Twitter Teach-in to showcase how education and conflict prevention can strengthen each other. Our gender experts have also shared their personal stories, highlighting the situation, the developments and the challenges in their countries. You can read these here. The Teach-in takes place on Thursday 1st December.