Skating Around the World – Episode 3
Today is the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Here are some global figures about women and violence.
One in three women experience physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence from a non-partner across their lifetime
Based on 2020 global estimates, on average, a woman or girl is killed by an intimate partner or family member every 11 minutes.
Since the pandemic, six in ten women believe sexual harassment in public has worsened.
These horrifying statistics indicate that violence against women and girls is not only a grave and pervasive human rights violation worldwide, but that we are not on the path to improvement.
And amongst all this, there is growing pushback against rights movements and feminist groups leading to a smaller space in civil society for women human rights defenders and activists to operate.
This is despite research which demonstrates that the “presence of a strong and autonomous feminist movement is the single most critical factor to drive policy change in ending violence against women and girls both in transnational contexts and in domestic policy-making”.
Consequently, this year, the United Nations chose ‘UNiTE! Activism to End Violence against Women & Girls’ as its theme – to support autonomous women’s rights organizations and feminist movements and stand with activists around the world who are calling for change.
For today’s Skating Around the World, we are highlighting different organisations and feminist movements calling for a world free from violence against women and girls.
22-year-old Mahsa Amini was arrested by Iran’s morality police for not wearing the hijab and was subsequently murdered. Her death sparked a nationwide protest Iran’s laws banning bodily autonomy, with brave protestors fighting for women’s basic rights from the right to choose how to dress to the right to leave the country without their husband’s permission. Since then, protests have taken place globally. Various high-profile campaigners, celebrities, and even the Iranian football team have publicly condemned the Iranian government and have been vocal about their support for Iranian women, using their influence, profile, and platforms to encourage their audiences to do the same.
- #NiUnaMenos meaning Not One Less
Sparked by the murder of 14-year-old Argentinian Chiara Páez by her 16-year-old boyfriend, tens of thousands of Argentinian women protested wanting systemic change against the outrageously high rate of femicide in the region. Soon after, the demonstrations spread to the rest of Latin America in Brazil, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Mexico, Uruguay, and El Salvador. Given Latin America contains 14 of the 25 countries with the highest rates of femicide, the NiUnaMenos movement mainly campaigns against gender-based violence but they’ve also fought for reproductive rights, leading to the legalisation of abortion in Argentina in 2020.
One Billion Rising is a global mass-action campaign to end violence against women, with the campaign theme changing each year. In 2023 it will celebrate its 10-year anniversary and its theme is RISE for Freedom against Patriarchy and Create a New Culture. The aim is to build communities across the globe, inspiring them to hold their own events and to consider art and dancing as forms of activism.
White Ribbon is a UK based charity focused on preventing violence against women and girls by engaging with men and boys in order to end violence before it starts. Working from the fact that most violence against women is committed by men, White Ribbon aims to encourage men and boys to pledge that they will never commit, condone, or remain silent regarding violence towards women.
Based in Lebanon, Abaad is an independent civil association that aims to achieve gender equality in the Middle East and North African region by creating an equitable society and one of its core pillars to achieve its mission is to end violence against women.
Based in India, this NGO is dedicated to ending violence and against women and girls by addressing domestic violence and the trafficking of young girls for sexual exploitation. Ambitiously, they aim to “end large-scale sex trafficking by 2025.”
As inspiring and committed as these organisations and movements are, they cannot make change alone. Together, we can call for a better world free from violence against women and girls. To learn how to get involved with these organisations, follow the links and help how you can.