The African Women’s Development and Communication Network has issued a press statement in observance of the campaign, appealing to ‘all African leaders to ensure that they uphold all international and regional instruments that protect women which they have ratified.’ PRESS STATEMENT
For Immediate Release 24th November, 2011
The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) joins the world in observing the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign which start on November 25th – December 10th, 2011. This year’s 16 Days Campaign runs under the theme: From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence against Women.
The theme could not have come at better time than now when the world is experiencing various threats to peace and security which have severe impact on women and children. According the United Nations factsheet of 2008, up to 70 % of women have experienced Gender-based violence in their lifetime. It is estimated that worldwide, one in five women will experience rape or attempted rape. Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war, and malaria. The Africa Women’s Regional Shadow Report on Beijing +15 (2009)1, identifies the general acceptance of violence against women in many African communities and the costly and cumbersome legal process as the major factors that make it difficult to eliminate the vice.
FEMNET acknowledges the importance of the 16 days of heightened attention and activism on upholding women’s human rights and progressing gender equality in Africa, in line with the global commitments such as the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Declaration and Goals. FEMNET together with its member organizations, development partners, civil society organizations, women’s human right activists and human rights defenders, movements and networks, concerned by the levels and severity of violence against women in Africa, are calling for elimination of all forms of violence against women.
FEMNET is joining the 16 days of activism to: raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue; strengthen national work around violence against women; establish a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women; provide a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies; demonstrate the solidarity of women around the world organizing to eliminate violence against women; and create tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women.
We appeal to all African leaders to ensure that they uphold all international and regional instruments that protect women which they have ratified. We further urge the leaders to domesticate the international instruments and also take advantage of the African Women’s Decade (2010-2020) to accelerate their actions aimed at promoting women’s rights.
For more information, please contact: Roselynn Musa, Acting Executive Director FEMNET
Tel +254 20 2712971/2
See online: 16 DAYS CAMPAIGN ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN