16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence
16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
As the world retreated inside homes due to the lockdown measures introduced to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, reports showed an alarming increase in the already existing pandemic of violence against women, also known as the shadow pandemic. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, there has been a surge in the number of reported cases of violence against women and girls.
To commemorate 16 days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, UNDP Sri Lanka together with the State Ministry of Women and Child Development, Pre-school & Primary Education, School Infrastructure and Education Services, FPA Sri Lanka, UNFPA Sri Lanka, #Generation, WIN, WDC, OfERR Ceylon, WFP, UNICEF, UN Women, CEJ, Grassrooted Trust and other collaborating organizations and individuals presented “When Home Isn’t Safe Anymore” - a series of virtual short-film screenings followed by a chat session to raise awareness against GBV exacerbated due to the shadow pandemic that is affecting many women and girls around the country.
FPA's session was on December 10th, Human Rights Day and the topic was - Reproductive Health and GBV within a COVID-19 context | කෝවිඩ්-19 වසංගත පසුබිම තුළ ප්රජනන සෞඛ්ය හා ස්ත්රීපුරුෂ සමාජභාවය මත පදනම් වූ හිංසනයේ පැතිකඩක්.
The Chat Discussants were, Madu Dissanayake, Assistant Representative, United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), Thushara Manoj, Senior Manager – Advocacy and Youth Affairs, Sri Lanka Family Planning Association and Subha Wijesiriwardena, Feminist Researcher and Human Rights Activist.
Click here to watch the discussion that was broadcasted on FB live.