only search openDemocracy.net

16 Days: Activism against gender-based violence
"Re-centering resistance and survivors is key to recognising that each woman in the movement to end violence against women is so much more than what has been done to her."

Liz Kelly

Every year from November 25 to December 10, thousands of organisations and activists across the world join together for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign. openDemocracy 50.50 publishes critical perspectives from academics, lawyers, activists, grassroots workers and policy makers around the world exploring the continuum of violence

More 16 Days coverage from the Nobel Women's Initiative


The voice of Berta Cáceres has become the voice of millions

Graffiti on the walls in Honduras - Berta Vive! Teenagers chanting as they march - Berta Caceres Flores, sown in the heart of all rebellions !  Berta didn’t die, she multiplied. Español

To exist is to resist: Million Women Rise

March 11th 2017 will mark the tenth anniversary of Million Women Rise's annual procession and rally to call an end to all forms of male violence against all women. It is more important than ever this year to show our resistance.

Suffragists, actresses and activists do it: 100 years of self-defence

Wherever women are confronted with violence, they try to protect themselves. When this resistance becomes collective, women's self-defence has at times been at the forefront of feminist efforts.

16 Days: survivors and activists at the centre

The field of violence against women is an argumentative space. 16 Days offers an opportunity to reflect, to be inspired and moved by women who have survived, our tireless campaigners and re-sisters. 

Dangerous journeys: violence against women migrants in Turkey

Syrian women migrants in Turkey face many forms of violence - sexual harassment, forced and early marriage, polygamy and trafficking for sexual exploitation. The perpetrators include soldiers, border officers and migration officers.

"We are not the women with black eyes."

Women who have survived abuse are changemakers. It’s time to involve companies in creating a paradigm shift in labour integration, to stop the double victimisation and social exclusion of survivors

Are universities preventing violence against women?

Sexual harassment of women students is rife and violence against women in universities is commonplace. Are universities reflecting cultural norms of violence against women instead of shaping new norms?

What lies beneath prostitution policy in New Zealand?

The rosy rhetoric that surrounds prostitution policy in New Zealand is being exposed by survivors of the prostitution system and the way that harm is glossed over by defenders of this approach.

'All day, everyday': where is the protection against violence in schools and universities?

The scale of harassment and violence in schools means girls and boys need more than sex and relationships education. It’s time we used human rights law.

The end of domestic violence support for black and brown women in the UK?

Dedicated refuges were created to answer a desperate need. Now their survival is at risk. 

Singleness and the world of 'not belonging'

The repertoires about single women are unequivocal: without a husband and children, single women signify ‘lack’ - they are incomplete and therefore do not belong. 'Gender' and 'space' are both embodied experiences.

Femicide in Mexico and Guatemala

Feminists in Mexico and Guatemala working on femicide also use the concept of ‘feminicide’ to draw attention to state complicity in the killings of women. Español

The Italian mafia and violence against women

In the name of “culture” and “honour” young girls born into the ‘ndrangheta mafia in Calabria lose their sense of identity. Those who seek freedom pay a terrible price.  

A move to set free child sex abusers: in the name of “our culture”

Recent law reform initiatives on sexual crimes against children in Turkey reveal the growing danger for women and girls, and the need to interrogate the myths and biases underlying the “our culture” discourse.

Lesbians at the heart of the movement to end men’s violence

Feminist lesbians have been passionate activists from the beginning of the movement against men’s violence and remain an inspiration for women to live independently of men.

Men's intrusion: rethinking street harassment

To capture the impact of ‘street harassment’ on women’s sense of self, we may need to rethink our language to better fit the lived experience.

A long road: domestic violence law in China

After 20 years of campaigning by women’s rights activists, China now has its first domestic violence law. The challenge ahead is to make it work to guarantee the safety of women and children.

What will it take to end honour based violence in the UK?

‘Honour killings’ represent the tragic consequences of the failure to tackle honour based violence. Greater state action in supporting black feminist leadership, and ensuring protection and provision is essential.

When a Man Kills a Woman

Across everything that divides societies, we share in common that men’s violence against women is normalised, tolerated, justified - and hidden in plain sight.

Since I gave you a phone it’s not rape

As evidence of UN peacekeepers’ sexual violence against Black African women and girls grows, media reporting and research reinterprets this as ‘transactional sex’, through the logic of colonialism.

Transforming a victim blaming culture

Media discussions of male violence against women focus on the actions of the victim rather than the perpetrator. How can we challenge this narrative using survivor’s testimony without putting them at risk of online harassment?

Global Femicide Watch

Dubravka Šimonović, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, explains to Yakin Erturk why she is calling on all States to participate in the newly established global 'Femicide Watch'.

Are children sacrificed in the interests of an abusive father's right of access?

Spanish law recognises children as direct victims of gender violence, but an abusive father's right of access on visits sanctioned by the judiciary means children are being killed by their estranged fathers. In Spanish.

¿Se sacrifican las criaturas en beneficio de los derechos de los hombres maltratadores?

La legislación española reconoce a las criaturas como víctimas directas de la violencia de género; sin embargo, el derecho a las visitas que la judicatura concede abusivamente a los padres que les violentan, dejan a éstas en riesgo de poder ser asesinadas. In English.

The Day You Catch the Fish: speaking out on domestic abuse

Violence is manifested in so many ways, yet it is always the violence that comes within the domestic space that leaves many women silenced, especially when the violence leaves no physical scars.

Welcome to our house: women living with HIV

The largest survey on women living with HIV, commissioned by the World Health Organisation, has revealed the stark truth about the gender-based violence and mental health challenges that positive women face.

Defending land and community: women on the frontlines of climate justice

Throughout Southeast Asia, hundreds of women environmental activists have been jailed, attacked and defamed as threats to "national security". They remain without adequate resources, protection and funding for their work.

UN peacekeeping: blue banner for hope, or red flag for abuse?

For decades the ‘Blue Helmets’ have been sexually exploiting and abusing those they were sent to protect. The UN is complicit in creating an environment in which these abuses can flourish unfettered. 

16 Days: cutting Black and minority ethnic women's organisations

The EU Victims Directive comes into force this month. Will it prevent the further decimation of Black and minority ethnic organisations offering specialised services to women facing violence in the UK? 

16 Days: asset stripping the women’s sector in the UK

The quality of service in the independent women's sector is no guarantee against the future as the British government continues its assault on specialist women’s services protecting women from violence. 

Violence against women in Spain: who cares?

Ahead of the election all the political parties commented on the level of violence against women, but public concern remains low. Is this the wake up call?

Ghana: women at war in a country at peace

The absence of war does not necessarily imply peace for women. The binary opposites of war and peace obscure the continuum of violence women experience as a result of patriarchal gender structures.

Egypt: a reality too dark in which to glimpse hope?

The last known message from the Egyptian activist Zainab Mahdy reads, " It's like we're digging in water...There is no justice…I am aware of that…there is no victory coming…we are just lying to ourselves so that we can live."

British democracy and women's right to live free from violence

As the general election approaches in May 2015, women's organisations in the UK have issued the Women's Safety Manifesto. Politicians ignore it at their peril when it comes to the vote.

Young feminists: resisting the tide of fundamentalisms

Fundamentalism is a root cause of multiple forms of violence experienced by young women and trans*youth worldwide. Young feminists human rights defenders are key actors in this space.

Syndicate content