From the 25th of November to the 10th of December, women’s organizations around
the world raises awareness on violence against women and girls. These 16 days of
activism against gender-based violence are a global campaign started in 1991. The American Samoa Alliance against Domestic & Sexual Violence recognizes the 25th of November is when the 16 days begin and is the International Day for the Elimination of All Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls. The last day is December 10th, known as the International Human Rights Day.
The 16 Days of Activism were created as an act of remembrance to honor the three Mirabal sisters, victims of political murders by the secret police in the Dominican Republic. The Women’s Global Leadership Institute led the global campaign thirty years ago. Today they still coordinate the campaign which involves more than 6,000 organizations in 187 countries.
Each year is devoted to a different theme – in 2019, the campaign ran under the
hashtag #RatifyILO190, which urges States to ratify the 2019 Convention of the
International Labor Organization regarding violence and harassment. Although this
Convention is applicable in all cases; it specifically tackles gender-based violence and
harassment, acknowledging that the main victims are women.
In honor of the 16 Days of Activism, the Alliance will post daily messages on social media (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc) to focus on issues that help to shine a spotlight
domestic violence, sexual violence and femicide. Other Advocacy groups will organize huge marches in great capitals and small towns alike. In Chile this year, the feminist collective Lastesis
presented the powerful performance “The rapist is you” outside the Ministry for
women’s rights and equality, and it was soon adapted by other groups in cities such as
Paris. Besides street protests, the 16 days of activism are also a chance to organize many
conference, seminars and social media publications, making sure that violence against
women and girls remain high on the agenda.
These 16 days of activism are your opportunity to engage with women’s rights and
fight for a future in which all women and girls are free from violence. From your own
personal life to political organizing or direct support, there are many ways to combat
violence makes perpetrators accountable and support victims. Join us and support us
work to guarantee we end gender-based violence in American Samoa!