09 November 2010

Call for Submissions: African Women's Millenium Initiative "Share Your Thoughts" 16 Days of Activism Campaign

Post date: 09 November 2010
Deadline: 19 November 2010

Every year since 1991, the time period of November 25 (International Day Against Violence Against Women) to December 10 (International Human Rights Day) has been recognized as the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. Throughout this period, women and youth groups, development practitioners, human rights activists, every day people like you and I, have stood up in their own way to discount gender violence and promote human rights. This year's theme focuses on violence in the context of conflict, and with gruesome instances like the high incidence of rape in Congo, it couldn't come at a better time.

Since its inception in 2005, AWOMI has worked with local African women and youth on issues pertaining to gender violence and human rights. During our biannual Young Women's Knowlegde and Leadership Institute (YOWLI), young activists from Africa and the Diaspora are trained on gender violence issues like rape, female genital mutilation, domestic violence and so on. Such workshops not only help in informing our YOWLI participants and graduates, but also promote story sharing.

YOWLI 2008 participants using silent theatre performances to depict rape during their Gender Violence training

In that vein, AWOMI would like to invite its YOWLI network - past, present (and maybe even future) - partners, and supporters to participate in the AWOMI's "Share Your Thoughts" 16 Days of Activism Campaign by submitting articles, blog posts, videos, commentary on publications, creative writing - anything really - for publication right here on the AWOMI blog.

By sharing your thoughts, experiences, concerns and so on around the theme "Structures of Violence: Defining the Intersections of Militarism and Violence Against Women", particularly as it relates to Africa, you will help put a face and voice to the millions of women who haven't the opportunity to share their stories and realities, and in so doing help reverse the trend.

YOWLI 2008 Participants using silent theatre pieces to depict domestic violence.

Some suggested topics from the 16 Days of Activism official website include:

- Economic consequences of war on women
- Women’s role in peace negotiations, peace-building, diplomacy and decision-making positions
-Abuse of sexual and reproductive rights in conflict situations
-Women and girl’s vulnerability as refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs)
-Environmental contamination by military operations and its consequences for women and children
-Suspension of rule of law and basic human rights in an “emergency”
-Military spending by government – cost-analysis compared to social programs

(For the full list, kindly visit http://16dayscwgl.rutgers.edu/2010-campaign/theme-announcement)

Submission Guidelines:

-All submissions should relate to Africa and/or the Diaspora
-Submissions can be English or French
- Entries should be a maximum of 500-700 words (for written submissions) or 5-7 minutes (for audio and video)
-Please include your full name, age, and nationality with your submission. If you are part of the YOWLI network, include your country chapter and/or year of participation
-Entries should be sent to awomiweb@gmail.com by Friday, November 19 at 12 midnight GMT

We hope to hear from you and look forward to sharing and learning! It takes one person to influence the state of events.

The 16 Days Campaign has been used as an organizing strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by:

* raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels
* strengthening local work around violence against women
* establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women
* providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies
* demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against women
* creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women

More information here.
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