December 16, 2020
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and coordinated each year by the by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. Annually, the days of activism start on the International Day Against Violence Against Women (25th November) and end 16 days later on 10th December - the International Human Rights Day.
This year, the Pearl Safe Haven teamed up with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on a number of exciting initiatives.
Each year is themed - 2020 is special as we are celebrating the 16 days with two streams. In the first instance, we are continuing to campaign for the ratification of C190 - the Violence and Harassment Convention - with a focus on informal working women. In 2019, the International Labour Organisation adopted C190 which is due to come into force in 2021. In our daily statistics, we plan to highlight some key statistics on informal workers who have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to raising awareness of C190 with our daily posts, we will also be sharing survivor stories with expert interviews under the theme "Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!".
In many countries, gender advocates have had to deal with the global pandemic as well as a shadow pandemic of increasing reports of domestic abuse as families were forced to shelter in place. Although reports of rape and sexual violence did not see an immediate increase during the lock down in Ghana, the effects of shelter in place and closure of schools is starting to become evident with an increased number of teenaged pregnancies, claims of defilement and economic abuse within homes reports.
The UN Secretary -General stated as follows:
“Accompanying the crisis has been a spike in domestic violence reporting, at exactly the time that services, including rule of law, health and shelters, are being diverted to address the pandemic.”
As we continue to navigate the global pandemic, it is important that we do not loose sight of the survivors' plight by reducing the funding and support required by gender advocates and key governmental agencies on the frontline. In so doing, we are encouraging people to speak out to support stakeholders and gender-advocates in 4 ways:
1. Fund - more funding is needed for women's rights organisations
2. Prevent - more needs to be done to prevent gender-based violence especially in the midst of the global pandemic
3. Respond - increase response times and process to support survivors
4. Collect - ensure that data collected adheres to strict privacy and data protection obligations
The aim of our survivor stories is to empower, educate and enable viewers to understand the critical resources that are needed to support women and children.
Support our campaign by sharing the stories and what you have learnt by using the hashtags #PearlSafeHaven #UNFPA #FundPreventRespondCollect.
Finally, the Pearl Safe Haven will be formally launching the pearl safe haven project and our Safe Place mobile application on the 25th November. Please join us on Facebook Live!
We are committed to support survivors, key government agencies in Ghana and our coalition partners to deliver appropriate and timely services. If you would like to support our work, please contact us
Donations are always appreciated, but there are lots of great ways to get involved.