The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign in 2023 is commemorated under the following theme:
Accelerating Actions to end Gender Based Violence and Femicide, leaving no one behind
This is a call to action to raise awareness about the devastating impact that gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) has on women, children, and the entire social fabrics. In Vanuatu, more action is needed to ensure women in all their diversity live free of violence and coercion. Health impacts of violence can last a lifetime, affecting physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health. The Vanuatu Disability Promotion & Advocacy Association plays a key role in bringing attention to and responding to violence against women as a public health, gender equality and human rights issue.
- Gender-based violence is a global public health, gender equality and human rights priority. It remains a systemic crisis, affecting 1 in 3 women worldwide. Risks increase during humanitarian emergencies or when women face greater curtailments of their essential rights, such as access to education, healthcare or freedom of movement.
- While violence affects women everywhere, women and girls in certain groups – such as those living with disability, adolescent girls and older women – often face even greater difficulty to have their voices heard and to access support.
- Too often people respond to violence by blaming or shaming the victim – for instance, for what they wore or what they did, or because they belong to a particular group, or people hesitate to offer support because it takes place in ‘private’ or among people we know.
- We must change the story, challenge misogyny and violence, and make sure women are heard. Women and girls everywhere should be able to access the help they need, when they need it, so we can end violence once and for all.
- Health workers are often the first, sometimes only, point of contact for women experiencing violence. They can provide compassionate care for survivors by offering first-line support, medical examination and treatment, and referrals to other essential service s. This requires investing in training and resources to ensure appropriate care.
Please contact the VDPA to learn more.