**TW: this article discusses rape and sexual assault **
16 Days of Action is a global campaign running every year from November 25th to December 10th. The campaign aims to increase awareness, ensure prevention, and demand accountability from states and individuals for ending gender-based violence (GBV) and discrimination. Every year millions of people come together to support the campaign, including us at Strath Union and Strathclyde.
What is 16 Days of Action?
At the core of the campaign is the belief that a world without violence is possible. The initiative runs for 16 days from November 25th, International Day Against Violence Against Women, to December 10th, International Human Rights Day.
It first started in 1991, meaning the campaign is turning 30 this year. Part of the global campaign is that it routinely highlights aspects of society in which gender-based violence occurs – in households, at work, at university etc. – and ways in which it happens.
Not only is the campaign about raising awareness. It is also about creating action and lasting change through holding those in power to account and lobbying for changes in policy and the conversation surrounding GBV. This year's campaign will have a special focus on femicide and extending activism against gender-based violence from 16 to 365 days.
Find out more via www.16dayscampaign.org.
What are we doing?
16 Days of Action is a global campaign, but we always try to organise our own initiatives here at Strathclyde. Every year we support the campaign to end violence against women. We will be hosting a series of events and campaigns throughout this year's 16 days campaign, including consent training and Fight for the Night. The latter is our annual march across Glasgow to raise awareness of gender-based violence and to fight to make streets safe.
Fight for the Night
Every year, we march together during our Fight for the Night march to demand action to make our streets safer and show solidarity to survivors of rape and sexual assault.
We believe that, as women, trans and non-binary people and those presenting as female, we have the right to walk the streets at night without the fear of sexual and gendered violence. We want to protest the stigma surrounding rape and sexual assault, the victim-blaming that goes alongside this and make our thoughts known on the appalling rape conviction rate in Scotland. With the rise in reports of spiking and violence towards women, this is more important than ever.
After hosting Fight for the Night (at Home) in 2020, we are excited to be heading out to the streets to march. If you want to get more involved in aspects surrounding the march, come to our banner making session, or why not volunteer as a steward?
Light Up the Parks Campaign
There have been several news reports highlighting the need for adequate lighting in Glasgow's public parks. Although lights were put in during COP26, but have been removed. We believe that providing lighting in public parks, particularly those in densely populated areas such as near Kelvingrove Park and Queens Park, will demonstrate a commitment to public safety. As part of 16 Days (and beyond) we prepared a template letter and will be asking all of you to write to your local MP and representatives to urge Glasgow City Council to reconsider its position on park lighting and make parks safer for all. Find out more here.
Our University-Based Campaign
We want to hear and incorporate the voices from as many students as possible in our university-based and wider campaign. Write your letter sharing your experiences with gender-based violence at university (staying totally anonymous) which we will then incorporate into our campaign messaging during our #Fightforthenight march in December. Stay tuned for more updates!
Introduction to Consent Online Module
We hosted an in-person workshop on consent earlier this week and wanted to extend the space and make an online module, so that more people can engage and learn in a safe environment about this important topic. This short module has been designed to give you a brief introduction to consent. This will include what consent is, why consent is important, and additional information. This module is just an introduction to the area and is not a substitute for additional training and development opportunities, including Active Bystander and Unconscious Bias Training.
How can I get involved?
Check out the events above to get involved! If you have any questions, drop us a line at email@example.com or contact Nesha Malone, your VP Inclusion.