Each year the 16 Days of Activism campaign has provided a rallying point for the governments, NGOs, CBOs and other stakeholders in the country to mount events aimed at raising awareness, influencing behavior change and securing high level of political commitment to end violence against women(VAW). So, different women organizations and activists have been celebrating 16 days of activism as an International Day to end "Violence against Women" on 25th November since 21 years.
“Peace in country to end violence against women: Constitution for Peace Building and our Collaboration to make Political Parties Responsible for Constitution making!!"
"Initiation of World peace from Home: Let's end violence on women challenging militarization"
Each year the 16 Days of Activism campaign has provided a rallying point for the governments, NGOs, CBOs and other stakeholders in the country to mount events aimed at raising awareness, influencing behavior change and securing high level of political commitment to end violence against women(VAW). So, different women organizations and activists have been celebrating 16 days of activism as an International Day to end "Violence against Women" on 25th November since 21 years. This day was chosen to commemorate the death of three Mirabel sisters, Patria, Maria and Antonia, who were detained, tortured and assassinated in 1960 during the dictatorship of Trujillo in the Dominic Republic. This incident can be taken as the political violence based on gender discrimination. So, the feminists from all over the world started to celebrate the day of their assassination as Day on "Violence against Women". Later on it was officially recognized by United Nations and established it as an International Day on elimination of all forms of "Violence against Women".
16 days of activism celebration is more significant unlike other International celebrations since this celebration to end VAW is not limited to a single day. It is also important as a platform being used by women activists all over the world to call for the elimination of all forms of VAW and advocate for women’s right to live in equality. Every year it is celebrated from 25th November till 10th December (International Human Rights Day) by organizing different awareness raising programs. This year also WOREC Nepal is organizing different programs from community level to National level in solidarity to eliminate VAW all over the world like previous years. The main objective of celebrating this activism is to acknowledge and institutionalize the achievements accomplished in the past by organizing different programs from the perspectives of women's liberation and the commitment to end VAW.
The primary step to create the environment for the elimination of VAW is the establishment of sustainable peace in the country. And the establishment of sustainable peace is possible only when there is gender friendly constitution in the country. Gender Friendly constitution is not possible without ending the trend of militarization within the political parties and pulling each other's legs. Analyzing the present context, the deadlock condition of the country will not easily end up due to the political instability and irresponsible behavior seen within the political parties. Due to this, the democracy brought by the efforts of thousands of people including mothers who lost their womb, wives who lost their husbands and those who were disabled, is on a verge of collapse now. In such context, speeding up of 16 days campaign to eliminate VAW is imperative in order to make the stakeholders and duty bearers aware, and strengthen the capacity of right holders to be able to claim their rights.
In previous year (2011)," 100 days Campaign on Violence against Women for Zero Tolerance" was conducted on the leadership of Women Human Right Defenders in all the 75 districts. The campaign was conducted with two demands i.e. the mechanism to address complaints registered by the victims of violence within 24 hours should be developed and there should be a policy for the "Security of Women Human Rights Defenders". During the campaign on 2068/11/11, Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai in inter-ministerial meeting opined that violence on women is an insult to the country; and he directed the Secretary of Ministerial office and Security agency to make short and long term plans to organize campaigns and also directed concerned authorities to address the complaint within 24 hours of registration. Despite of this, women were unable to get proper justice. It is evident that the security personal of high position murdered his wife. Thus it is obvious that women from every sector including housewives, laborers, women in media, women who are involved in politics are also victimized. But still, there is not a single example where the incident of violence against women was addressed within 24 hours. Though Prime Minister personally commanded to respond for the incident it is not being implemented which arise a question on trust and accountability of the government. And we also opined that this situation has arisen due to the militarism existing in political parties, unequal power relationship and patriarchy.
This year, 152 women were killed, 211 women were raped, 12 committed suicide, 23 women were raped by family members and 75 women were alleged as witch. Despite of such increasing number of cases on VAW, there are very rare cases where the victims succeeded to get justice. Such situation is not acceptable for any Nepalese who struggled to establish democracy in Nepal. So, we all should enroll ourselves and request all to participate in the campaign "Establish Peace from our home to world by challenging Militarism".
Referring to the reality of Nepalese society with intrinsic social patriarchal system fueling for gender disparity and gender violence against women, and current political situation in Nepal, this year WOREC Nepal has formulated its slogan as follows : "Peace to end Violence against Women: Constitution for peace building and our Collaboration to make Political Parties Responsible for Constitution making!"So, we request all the Nepalese to show their commitment in our attempt to transform this slogan into reality.
Based on study, researches and experiences of women right activists, it can be stated that until and unless there is existence of the trend of militarism and persisting patriarchy nourished by militarism in the ruling government, political parties and other responsible security personals, neither democracy will be strong nor VAW will be eliminated. So, Nepal is in verge of both opportunity as well as challenges today. On one hand with the collective effort of civil society, Human Right Activists, other democratic forces and political parties challenged to eliminate the previously established patriarchal militarism, which creates opportunity to establish the egalitarian society; and on the other hand, the people with traditional and persisting practice of patriarchal militarism might jeopardize the achievements made after long struggle although they have verbal commitment to democracy and social justice. There is increasing risk due to rigidity of political parties, militarist trend and patriarchal concern. This situation is challenging those who are working to eliminate VAW. Internalizing this situation also, women right activists are relentlessly campaigning on "Violence against Women". After the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and commitment to establish peace in the country, the government is also conducting different programs named "Zero Tolerance on Violence against Women". Such programs are reflected as compensatory process; however, this could not bring any significant change in women's life and situation. Obviously, everyone should think seriously about the reason behind this happening.
The women activists through their experiences from community level to national level have found that the "Militarist patriarchal trend" still exists in the mentality of people at all levels and also opined that this is due to the globalization of open market economy. Until and unless the country is liberated in real sense, the political parties free themselves from corruption and become active for the country and people, the change cannot occur. The country will be continuously directed and controlled by different power centre; and the ongoing peace process will never be concluded.
The search of peace would not be possible only through army integration. It will be possible only after the elimination of Militarism trend, by addressing grievances armed conflict and translating consensus of political parties and their honest commitment into practice. It is impossible to address this situation without coordination and pressure for "Agreement between political parties and their commitment to implement the agreement in practice". Thus WOREC Nepal has forwarded the slogan "Peace to end violence against women: Constitution for peace building and our collaboration to make Political Parties Responsible for Constitution making!!. With this slogan, WOREC Nepal will organize different programs during the period of the 16 days activism.
Objectives: The main objectives of the 16 days of activism are as follows:
- To exert pressure for political commitment to end violence against women.
- To create awareness among common people for ending violence against women.
- To launch "Anbeshi" an analytical report on VAW and make concerned stakeholders responsible for ending VAW by presenting the year book as a proof.
- To mention everyone about the role and importance of Women Human Right Defenders (WHRDs) and to do advocacy for their identity and security.
- To initiate for the solidarity of civil society to exert pressure for promulgation of constitution and conclude peace process.
Important Days Within 16 days of Activism:
Following are the major important days within 16 days of Activism:
- 25th November : Violence against Women's day
- 29th November : Women Human Right Defender's Day
- 1st December : World AIDS Day
- 3rd December : World Disability Day
- 5th December : World Volunteer Day
- 6th December : Women Martyr's Day
- 10th December : International Human Rights Day
- Launching of "Anbeshi", an analytical year book on VAW.
- Discussion and survey on necessary mechanism for the security of Women Human Right Defenders.
- Different programs to collect opinions on concluding peace process from people of different sectors.
- Discussions and workshops with politicians, media and concerned stakeholders on elimination of VAW.
- Different awareness raising and pressure creating programs in collaboration with different organizations, federations and networks.
- Commemorate the Women Martyrs and respect the Senior Women who bestowed to Democratic (Loktantantik) movement.
- Women Human Right Defenders from community level to National level will commit to come together to end violence against women.
- The annual report on violence against women "Anbeshi" (July 2011 to June 2012) will be launched along with the analysis of incident.
- The declaration, national action plan, programs on gender based violence announced by the government will be disseminated all over the country.
- Advocacy for the national and International recognition of Women Human Right Defenders (WHRDs) will be landed.
- The basis to continue 100 days campaign on violence against women will be prepared.
- Opinions from people of different sectors will be collected, which will help to create a favorable environment to pressurize for new constitution making.
Download: Calender of Activism
Contact points for Additional Information:
Facebook page : www.facebook.com/worecnepal.org