16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
From November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and until December 10th, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is a global campaign to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.
Violence against women is one of the biggest causes of injury and death to women worldwide, causing more deaths and disability for women ages 15 to 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war. In other words, it’s an epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.
However, violence against women goes beyond the physical. Violence can be physical, sexual, psychological. Violence can include limiting autonomy, decision-making power and access to certain resources.
For these 16 days, we are highlighting 16 different types of violence that women and girls experience beyond the physical.
You can take action against gender-based violence:
Day 3 – Violence Against Women is also: Reinforcing unequal gender stereotypes
The harms of gender stereotyping
Gender stereotypes exist and are a type of violence against women. Gender stereotypes are generalizations about certain attributed differences and roles for different individuals and/or groups. For example, in many contexts a woman’s role is seen as a caregiver while men are expected to be the family breadwinner. These are gender stereotypes. These unequal gender stereotypes, which often restrict women, is a form of violence.
Let’s take a look at Pauline Iokere’s story. At just 17 years old, Pauline has 2 children and is given the responsibility of caring for them, collecting food, completing household duties, cooking and caring for her husband when he returns from work. Pauline’s fixed role as a mother and caregiver at such a young age lead to an imbalance between a woman’s and a man’s working hours, with the women often completing much more manual labour. This not only harms women, but also leads to a greater risk of children suffering from malnutrition due to improper care.
Solving gender inequality through male-focused education
One way that we seek to overcome these stereotypes is through father-to-father support groups. These support groups aim to sensitize men on the double burden many women face. This program empowers men to support their wives and allows them to understand the importance of balancing housework. Many of you supported this important work through our #Care4Mom campaign, where you helped us create support groups in famine-affected areas this summer. In the case of Pauline, the free time gained from increased support has been used to join Action Against Hunger’s mother-to-mother support group and to gain more knowledge and information on nourishing her children.
See who benefits from our mother-to-mother and father-to-father support groups in Kenya.
Support moms like Pauline with mother-to-mother, and father-to-father, support groups for healthy households.