A 16-day campaign to end gender-based violence

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, November 25, marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, an annual global campaign that continues until December 10, Human Rights Day.

During the 16 Days of Activism, people from all over the world join together to confront discrimination, raise awareness about gender-based violence, and call for stronger laws and services to permanently abolish violence against women.

The campaign was started by activists in 1991 during the opening of the Women’s Global Leadership Institute. The Center for Women’s Global Leadership is still in charge of organizing it every year. Individuals and organizations all across the world utilize it as an organizational strategy to demand the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

According to statistics, 35 percent of women globally have reportedly experienced physical or sexual assault by an unknown person. 71% of the victims of human trafficking are women and girls.

In every country on earth, violence against women persists at a shockingly high rate. As a result of widespread discrimination against women and the acceptance of violence as normal behavior, it happens regularly and unchecked.

In order to address violence against women as a public health, gender equality, and human rights issue, the Royal Government of Cambodia has taken many measures.

Gender-based violence is illegal in Cambodia, where the existing Criminal Code of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Protection of Victims (DV Law), and other laws uphold equal rights and protections against abuse and discrimination.

Articles 31 and 42 of the Constitution provide equal of rights and freedom from discrimination to all Khmer citizens, regardless of gender, and the Criminal (New Penal) Code prohibits a number of forms of violence that disproportionately harm women, such as rape (Article 239); sexual harassment (Article 250); and using women for prostitution (Article 285).

In addition to the laws mentioned above, Cambodia has made progress in recent years in reducing violence against women. By using doctrines and legal tools, the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has made some substantial attempts to address Gender Based Violence. The following are notable examples:

  • The 2017 Media Code of Conduct for Reporting on Violence Against Women
  • The 2016 Referral Guidelines for Women and Girl Survivors of Gender-Based Violence
  • The Second National Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women, 2014–2018
  • The Neary Rattanak IV Strategic Plan for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, 2014–2018

Support the cause

It is possible to significantly reduce violence against women through engaging in strong feminist activism and advocacy, as well as multisectoral action  that is driven by research and best practices.

You can take a variety of steps to sustain the momentum, including educating yourself on the subject of violence against women and setting up conferences, marches, meetings, videos, and social media posts to show your support.

In Cambodia, This Life began 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence with the campaign “Goodbye My Love.” To support the campaign, kindly watch and share the video. Link: https://fb.watch/h3U04e9743/

Only by working together will we be able to stop violence against women. It is now critical to take some time to think, make plans, speed things up, and continue efforts to eradicate violence against women by 2030.

“We must teach children about living in a dignified society and resolving problems peacefully from a young age. Men also need to be role models for the elimination of all forms of violence and maintaining nonviolent culture.”

-Samdech Hun Sen, Cambodian Prime Minister

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