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16 Days of Activism: Respect Women

Together we can create a world without gender-based violence

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Post date: 24th November 2020

Each year, from the 25th November to 10th December the UN calls for 16 days of Activism to raise awareness about gender-based violence, challenge discriminatory attitudes and call for improved laws and services. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November marks day one of the activities through to World Human Rights Day on 10 December.

Respect Women: Call It Out

The theme this year is “Respect Women: Call It Out”. This draws attention to the fact that respect is the building block of all healthy relationships. Respect is a word that is used often – most people are familiar with it, but it can be challenging to pinpoint how to spread awareness of its importance. With gender inequality being a key driver of violence against women, the aim of this year’s theme is to create a world where respect is embedded in all facets of our lives; offered, exchanged and received at home, school, the workplace, sports clubs, the supermarket and more. You can read more about what respect means here

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What is Gender Inequality?

Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of a person based on their gender. We see disparity everywhere in our everyday lives; at home, in our communities, in schoolbooks, in the media and among people around us. Sexist practices and behaviours have deeply rooted themselves in society; manifesting in disrespect, control and violence towards women, non-binary and gender diverse people. It’s a community problem and everyone can help change these structures to create a world where all genders feel safe, respected and empowered.

Calling it Out

You can take “bystander action” against others by responding to incidents of violence, sexism, harassment or discrimination that you witness. We are all part of a community and you can put a stop to poor behaviour among your mates, colleagues or family. How?

  • Name the behaviour
  • Tell that person to knock it off
  • Be vocal in your support of target of that behaviour
  • Always remember to keep yourself and others safe and assess the risk of intervening.

Sometimes actions speak louder than words and a disapproving look can be more effective. Here are some useful resources about how to be a better bystander.

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Showing Support & Getting Help

To promote the campaign, we encourage you to use your voice on social media. Post a tile for each day of the 16 day of Activism – a range of designs can be found here

If this post raises any issues for you, please reach out to our Student Success team for support.

Alternatively, you can find a comprehensive list of specialist support organisations here.

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