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16 Days of Activism with the Women’s Networking Hub

December 1, 2011

Today marks the seventh day of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign, launched by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership to campaign against gender-based violence. To coincide, the Women’s Networking Hub in Birmingham has come up with 16 ways for everyone to fight gender violence.

The Women’s Networking Hub has a growing membership of almost 1000 women and campaigns for women’s rights and issues. The Hub celebrates the contribution women can and have made in society throughout history, and thus their potential to influence decision making. It aims to empower women by supporting them to work together on a range of issues facing women and has helped members to set up campaigns and arrange their own leisure and networking clubs.

The Hub also holds events and works alongside other non-profit organisations and inspirational figures to understand, share and further the work being done nationally and internationally in tackling gender inequality.

We are working with the Women’s Networking Hub until March 2013 as part of our Digital Activism work. The Hub wants to establish ways to engage women from communities currently underrepresented in the Hub and develop ways that all women can campaign for social change using digital tools and social networks.

The Hub understands the importance of  initiatives such as the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign to get women started in campaigning. The 16 Days campaign started on 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) and runs to 10 December 2011 (International Human Rights Day) to symbolically emphasise that violence against women is a human rights violation.

Shahida, founder of the Women’s Networking Hub, recently shared with Hub members 16 quick and easy ways for women to join in with the 16 days of activism – be it online or offline. She’s calling it 16X16 Activate, Activism, Action 16 Days 16 Ways!

The 16 methods of activism highlighted include:  

Make some noise and be seen – Protests and rallies are a well established way for people to get their voice heard. The Hub urges people to plan public speeches, rallies or protests to honour the victims and survivors of violence during the 16 Days campaign.

One example is Reclaim the Night, an annual international march against rape and all forms of male violence against women. This year’s march was held on Saturday and brought together over two thousand women carrying placards and banging drums to say no to male violence and cuts to women’s services.

Join the Tweetathon and start blogging – Supporters of the 16 Days campaign are protesting virtually by tweeting using the #16days hashtag. A wide range of organisations and individuals are tweeting #16days, including @UNpYouth who today tweeted How can men and boys make a difference to end violence against women and girls? Check out #16Days

Others are blogging on relevant issues during the 16 Days campaign, including Karen in Australia who is blogging  daily about the impacts of sexual assault.

Get connected – Shahida also highlights the importance of social media such as Facebook, Flickr and YouTube for getting the message out.

Turn Your Back on Page 3 does just that. The Facebook group exposes instances of the media sexualising violence against women and demands a socially responsible media that does not objectify women. It asks women (and men) to get involved by posting their own pictures to Facebook, sharing posts and inviting friends to join.

And if you want to do the Hub’s seventh action, you can by telling the UK government to match its rhetoric on violence against women, by signing an online petition to call on Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone to commit the UK to signing the CAHVIO convention.

To read all of the Women’s Networking Hub’s 16X16 Activate, Activism, Action 16 Days 16 Ways! and get involved for the remaining nine days, please read the Shezine.

Written by Asia Begum at the Young Foundation 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2011 11:09 am

    Hi, great idea. I am concerned that women who may not be English are stuck at home and unable to communicate with other people about their situation. Any ideas anyone?

  2. December 7, 2011 11:27 am

    That’s a good question Annette.

    I wonder whether there’s an opportunity to identify members of the Hub that could act as translators to help those who can’t speak English to get involved. I’ll put this to Shahida from the Hub.

  3. December 7, 2011 12:36 pm

    Hi Anne and Sophie

    Anne, thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond to the above post – it’s much appreciated.

    One of the great things about the Hub is that the membership is made up of a diverse group of women. Anne, your question is extremely important in relation to the work that we are doing and to ensure that we are developing ways in which we can be more inclusive, with a focus on those women whose first language isn’t English. Sophie, I think your suggestion is great, and something that we can build on through the Hub and in collaboration with our members – this is certainly food for thought!

    As someone who can converse with women in a number of community languages, Anne’s question is a pertinent one, especially when reaching out to and engaging with women using a range of effective and multifacted tools for communication.

    Thank you once again for your comments.


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