[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] The Anglican Communion Office (ACO) will be supporting an international campaign against gender-based violence, which starts next week. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence will run from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence, to Human Rights Day on 10 December.
Research and Advocacy Officer for the Anglican Communion, Rachael Fraser, hopes the activities of the ACO will help raise awareness and encourage participation and action in Anglican provinces and parishes around the world.
She said: “across the 16 Days we’ll be sharing statistics, prayers, resources, short videos, and also some stories from across the Communion of how provinces and churches are responding to gender-based violence to inspire others to take action. The final day will bring a call to action to take the 16 Days of activism to 365 days of activism and to encourage the conversations and actions around responding to gender-based violence to continue beyond the 16 Days.”
In support of this civil society initiative, in 2008 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence Against Women campaign which calls on governments, civil society, women’s organisations, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls.
This year’s UNiTE theme – “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape!” – will use the colour orange to unify global activities and raise awareness.
Rachael Fraser said the 16 days provided an important opportunity to raise awareness and collectively advocate for an end to violence against women, men, girls, and boys.
She said: “tackling the deep injustices of gender inequality is an integral part of our Anglican mission, as the Fourth Mark of Mission calls us to: ‘transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind, and pursue peace and reconciliation’.
“Our Christian belief is that women and men are created equally in the image of God and that just relationships between women and men, girls and boys are fundamental to human flourishing. Each member of the human family is made in the divine image to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect; violence of any kind is a violation of this.”
The annual international 16-Days campaign was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991. It is coordinated by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership and has been backed by the United Nations.
Look out for the ACO posts and stories on social media from 25 November on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.