While the world is in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in the already-existing issue of gender-based violence, which has, unfortunately, existed for many decades. The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is a campaign to challenge prejudice against women and members of the LGBTQ2+ community.
This year, the campaign started on November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) and ended on December 10 (World Human Rights Day). These 16 days are an opportunity to unite with others and share how we can destroy barriers of discrimination against women and members of the LGBTQ2+ community.
Gender-based violence is committed against an individual due to their gender identity, gender expression and/or perceived gender. Every day, many face discrimination and violence because of their gender identity. Discriminatory actions such as name-calling, insults, sexual harassment and abuse continue to be an issue in our society today. According to sources, more than half of Canadian women have suffered from sexual harassment and abuse at least once in their lifetime. With these statistics, it is likely that you or someone you know has faced violence due to their gender identity.
During this global pandemic, we can all get involved by showing our support to women and the LGBTQ2+ community. This year the campaign is taking many initiatives. To show our support, many wore purple on November 25, Use your voice by using #OurActionsMatter, and by following @women_canada on Instagram and Twitter. Most importantly, be sure to listen and be open to learning from others, believe and support survivors of gender-based violence, and speak out by educating others.