The days from 25 November to 10 December have been set aside for a campaign called “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.”
The campaign began on United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and will run through Human Rights Day.
The World Council of Churches (WCC), along with nine ecumenical and inter-religious partners and the UN Populations Fund, launched a website to gather resources related to the role faith-based organizations can play in challenging and ending child and forced marriage, as well as other forms of gender-based violence. Online materials include videos, testimonies and worship resources.
“This is a period to renew our efforts to end violence against women and girls around the world,” said Dr Fulata Lusungu Moyo, WCC programme executive for the Just Community of Women and Men. “Sharing the gathered resources through this website widely is an important way of joining the ecumenical pilgrimage of gender justice and peace with no violence against women and girls.”
"A simple wearing of black on Thursday, a sharing of a story, or striking up a conversation about sexual and gender based violence could be the start of the difference that women and girls need across the world", Moyo added. “So let me invite you to break the silence by not keeping to yourself what you know! This website is rich with resources that church leaders, women’s and men’s groups, instructors of rites of passage, Sunday school and public school teachers, students and youth groups can use to raise awareness, to offer prayers and be challenged by powerful and life-changing testimonies.”
According to the organizers, the 16 Days campaign offers people an opportunity to take a reflective walk through stories of pain and hope, and through ideas that could be replicated to give a chance to many of the 15 million girls worldwide - that’s 28 girls every minute - who are married before the age of eighteen.