by Melanie Gallant
Violence against women and girls is an attack on human rights – it ruins lives and impoverishes communities. It is present in all nations – rich and poor – and affects us all, women, girls, men and boys.
From November 25 to December 10th, activists the world over came together to say enough is enough! People must open their eyes, attitudes need to change and Governments must deliver on their commitments.
In Canada and abroad, funding for women’s rights are shrinking but the need for solutions is bigger than ever. It is critical that Oxfam Canada, our donors and supporters make every effort to continue our support of women’s movements in their fight for human rights and a world without violence.
Oxfam Partners Speaking up for Women’s Rights
In Jordan, as part of the 16 days of activism campaign, Oxfam partner ARDD-Legal Aid raised awareness about gender-based violence under the theme of ‘Unmasking Violence’ – a two day activity for Syrian women in Za’atri Camp. Over the two days, over 30 women and girls transformed their feelings about violence into paintings on tiles; representing things they have experienced or witnessed. Read more…
In Cuba, Oxfam participated in the inauguration of a course called “Women in the 21st Century” at the Department of Women’s Studies of the University of Havana. Together with local partners, we were part of an opening panel called “Violence against women is not invisible, but what causes it can be hard to see”.
Along with long time partner the National Association for Small Farmers (ANAP), Oxfam also supported several events touching upon violence in Jesus Menendez, a small town in Eastern Cuba.
Last week also saw Oxfam partner “Corte de Mujeres” hold an event in an impoverished Havana neighborhood where women victims of violence tell their stories in front of a supportive audience.
In Nicaragua, violence against women is rampant. Every year close to a hundred women are killed. In September activists protested against legal changes that could push female victims of violence have to sit through a face-to-face mediation with their abusers. On November 25, thousands of women, including Oxfam partners, took to the streets in Managua to demand an end to impunity for violence against women.
Lend your voice with a gift that helps women speak up in their communities!
Oxfam Unwrapped allows you to give a life-changing gift. It’s very simple: you select an item, a card is delivered to your friend, family, colleague or client, and the gift goes to those who need it most.
A gift of training on gender-based violence will help women and men appreciate the importance of women’s rights and their roles as leaders, citizens and breadwinners. When women’s rights are respected, women become healthier, better educated and better paid. Their children thrive and so do their communities!
Melanie Gallant is Oxfam Canada’s Media Relations Officer