16 Days

16 days of activism against gender based violence

DAY SIX

Today is the sixth of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

Violence against women has had a significant impact on women’s mental health during the pandemic.

It’s hard to overstate the psychological toll of COVID-19. It has isolated us, upended our lives and made us afraid for our physical well-being. For women simultaneously exposed to violence, the compounded emotional impacts are that much worse.

Women who report feeling unsafe at home or in public, or who report direct or indirect experiences of violence, are more likely to say that COVID has worsened their feelings of stress and anxiety, particularly in cases of physical violence. These women are also more likely to report an inability to stop worrying and a lack of interest in doing things.

Prayer:

Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours. (St Teresa of Avila)

#OrangeTheWorld and #16Days

DAY FIVE

Today is the fifth of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

From the early days of the COVID lockdowns, women’s organizations noted a significant increase in reported cases of violence against women. But comprehensive data collection on the issue was difficult, because of the sensitivity, stigma and shame around the subject as well as constraints imposed by the pandemic.

UN Women conducted a survey with data collected in 13 countries across all regions (Kenya, Thailand, Ukraine, Cameroon, Albania, Bangladesh, Colombia, Paraguay, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Morocco, Jordan, and Kyrgyzstan), confirms the severity of the problem.

Across the 13 countries surveyed, 2 in 3 women report that they or a woman they know has experienced violence at some point in their lifetime. Nearly 1 in 2 report direct or indirect experiences of violence since the start of the pandemic.

The most common form is verbal abuse (50%), followed by sexual harassment (40%), physical abuse (36%), denial of basic needs (35%) and denial of means of communication (30%). Seven in 10 women surveyed believe violence against women is common in their community.

Most women believe that COVID has made things worse. Nearly 7 in 10 women think domestic violence has increased during the pandemic, and 3 in 5 think sexual harassment in public has increased. In many cases, heightened demand for shelters and other forms of support has remained unmet due to operational constraints.

Prayer:

Loving Lord, hear our cries for justice and break the chains of abuse

that all may live in safety.

Loving Lord, hear our cries for righteousness and break the chains of oppression that all may live in freedom.

Help us to raise the voice of the voiceless and to always seek justice for those whose lives are so much harder than our own.

Loving Lord, hear our cries for mercy and break the chains of fear that all may live in peace.#OrangeTheWorld and #16Days

DAY FOUR

Today is the fourth of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

School-related gender-based violence is a major obstacle to universal schooling and the right to education for girls.

Globally, one in three students, aged 11–15, have been bullied by their peers at school at least once in the past month, with girls and boys equally likely to experience bullying. While boys are more likely to experience physical bullying than girls, girls are more likely to experience psychological bullying, and they report being made fun of because of how their face or body looks more frequently than boys

School violence and bullying can be devastating for the victims. The consequences include children and youth finding it difficult to concentrate in class, missing classes, avoiding school activities, playing truant or dropping out of school altogether. This has an adverse impact on academic achievement and future education and employment prospects. An atmosphere of anxiety, fear and insecurity is incompatible with learning and unsafe learning environments can, therefore, undermine the quality of education for all learners.

School-related violence in all its forms is an infringement of children’s and adolescents’ rights to education and to health and well-being. No country can achieve inclusive and equitable quality education for all if learners experience violence and bullying in school

Prayer:

Let us remember that when we laugh at someone, they feel pain.

Let us remember that when we pick on someone they are angry but also afraid.

Let us remember that when we don’t stick up for someone who is being bullied, they are alone.

Let us remember that we bully because we want to feel strong, the boss.

But are we? What have we done?

We have forgotten our own fear by making others frightened.

We have forgotten our own loneliness by leaving one of us alone.

We have hidden our own nightmare in another’s terror.

It is no longer enough to be sorry.

It is no longer enough to boast and swagger.

These attitudes are hollow, skating on the thin ice of our own fears, our own hates.

May we have the courage to confront ourselves in the ‘not me’, ‘don’t want to know’, ‘it’s their problem’, ‘I’m not involved’.

May we have the courage to confront ourselves in the ‘I’m right’, ‘She’s black’, ‘He’s stupid’, I’m me and it’s my world, not theirs’.

For we are all hurt, all afraid, all alone, all different, all me, and the world is all ours.

We all have only one life.

(Centre for Christian Studies, Canada)#OrangeTheWorld and #16Days

DAY THREE

Today is the third of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime. In times of crises, the numbers rise, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts and climate disasters. A new report from UN Women, based on data from 13 countries since the pandemic, shows that 2 in 3 women reported that they or a woman they know experienced some form of violence and are more likely to face food insecurity. Only 1 in 10 women said that victims would go to the police for help.

While pervasive, gender-based violence is not inevitable. It can and must be prevented. Stopping this violence starts with believing survivors, adopting comprehensive and inclusive approaches that tackle the root causes, transform harmful social norms, and empower women and girls. With survivor-centred essential services across policing, justice, health, and social sectors, and sufficient financing for the women’s rights agenda, we can end gender-based violence.
#OrangeTheWorld and #16Days


Prayer:

God of Peace, Keep us stubborn and steadfast, alert and awake to keep alive this hope for peace and justice, until it becomes a reality for us all.

Only through community, and in solidarity as sisters, can this be achieved. May it be so, according to the promise and power of Your Son and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Rev. Eun Joo Kim, Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)

DAY TWO

Today is the second of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is an umbrella term used to cover a wide range of abuses against women and girls such as domestic homicide, domestic abuse, sexual assault, abuse experienced as a child, female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage and harassment in work and public life. While men and boys also suffer from many of these forms of abuse, they disproportionately affect women.

Prayer:

Great God we give you thanks that you call us out of silence to name hidden and domestic abuse.

We pray for all those women who despite suffering from abuse and violence, continue to care for family and children, to grow and prepare food, carry water, earn a living and offer support to others.

We pray for women who are trafficked as domestic or sex workers; for women who are raped and do not know how to find words to name their pain or a way into the future.

We pray for transformation of our societies which often find it easier to judge the victims of violence than to solve the problems of injustice

We pray that women’s voices may be heard and taken into account in all peace and reconciliation work.We pray for a transformation in the violent way many men act towards and think about women.

We pray for right and just relations between women and men that together we may transform and overcome violence in all its forms and learn to celebrate our diversity and interdependence

We look forward to the age of peace, when violence is banished, both women and men are able to love and to be loved, and the work and wealth of our world is justly shared. (World Council of Churches)


Twitter: @UN_Women
Facebook: @unwomen
Instagram: @unwomen
TikTok: @unwomen

DAY ONE

Today is the first of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence – an annual international campaign. This is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It is also recognised as White Ribbon Day in the UK.

White Ribbon UK is a leading charity engaging with men and boys to end violence against women. They encourage us to make the following promise:

I promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

We are being called by the UN to ‘Orange the World: End violence against women now!”

Statistics gathered by the UN in 2017 indicated that 87,000 women were killed because of their gender. Of those murders, 58 percent – 137 women each day – were killed by a member of their own family or intimate partner. The onset of Covid-19 has exacerbated the violence, so much so, that by September 2020, 121 countries instituted and adopted new measures to provide support and/or care for women survivors of violence as part of their Covid-19 response plans.

Prayer:

Merciful and loving God,

forgive us when we have closed our eyesto the sufferings of others;

when we have stayed silent in the face of abuse and oppression;

when we have declined to challenge unacceptable actions and attitudes.

Take away our selfishnessand

fill us with new resolve to proclaim justice and mercy

in the name of Christ. Amen

(Mother’s Union)

Twitter: @UN_Women
Facebook: @xunwomen

Instagram: @unwomen

Tiktok:@unwomen

Posted by Helen M Mee


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