Sierra Leone Gender Watch Message on 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence


For Immediate Release
---------------------------------
December 1, 2012

                    Sierra Leone Gender Watch Message on 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence
                    Sierra Leone Should Meet Commitments to End Violence against Women and Children

Every year 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence runs from 25 November to 10 December. The global campaign spans the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November and International Human Rights Day on 10 De-cember. The period also includes Universal Children’s Day and World AIDS Day.

This yearly commemoration links violence against women to human rights and by ex-tension, recognizes violence against women and children as a public health problem. Domestic violence is now deemed as a major risk factor for women's health with far reaching consequences for both women’s physical and mental health, generating de-bates on a number of platforms. All over the world, people are actively raising aware-ness of the devastating effect of violence against women and children and calling for action against abuse. The theme for this year’s campaign is, “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World”.

Sierra Leone Gender Watch (SLGW) is an online pressure group formed to promote the social, economic and political well-being of women in Sierra Leone. It is an independent, non-partisan group and comprises of a cross section of Sierra Leoneans living locally and in the diaspora and operates mainly through advocacy and uses social media as a platform.

During this period, we urge the government of Sierra Leone, the police and judiciary to meet the nation’s commitment to end violence against women and children and put an end to rape, domestic violence, and harassment at work, abuse in school, and sexual violence.

SLGW is committed to supporting initiatives that protect the rights of women and chil-dren, SLGW continually strives to raise awareness and highlight the importance of these rights in Sierra Leone. For further information, please visit Sierra Leone Gender Watch www.facebook.com/groups/sierraleonegenderwatch/

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

In 1993, following the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November was designated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Governments and interested organizations were invited to raise awareness about the maltreatment of women. The date was chosen as an tribute to the Mirabal sisters who were assassinated for their activities opposing the Trujillo dictatorship.

International Human Rights Day

In 1948 the United Nations General Assembly invited all states and interested organizations to adopt December 10 of each year as Human Rights Day. The declaration of human rights is a "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations". Although the declaration itself is not binding it has inspired 60 human rights instruments which form an international standard of human rights.

Universal Children’s Day

In 1954, the General Assembly recommended that all countries observed Universal Children Day as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It also commemorates the General Assembly’s adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.

World AIDS Day

Each year, December 1 provides a worldwide opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV and commemorate those who have died. The first World Aids Day was held in 1988.

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