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16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM
AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is a global campaign, spearheaded by Rutgers University and coordinated in Canada by Women in International Security Canada (WIIS-Canada). The Campaign was launched in 1991 and runs from November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) until December 10 (International Human Rights Day) every year. Since its inception, it has become the most widely recognized and longest-running campaign for women’s rights in the world. Feminists in the 1990s achieved a truly monumental breakthrough when they secured the formal recognition of women’s rights as human rights, and of violence against women as a human rights violation. This work continues, in new ways, as gender-based violence continues unabated.

2018 | 2017 | 2016

2018

For the 2018 edition, the Campaign worked under the theme “Ending Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work” with a particular focus on the adoption of legally-binding international standards to eliminate gender-based violence in the workplace.  Gender-based violence is a major obstacle to empowering women and girls, especially in the context of work environments. The Canadian feminist foreign policy can provide a positive impetus to advocate for the elimination of such obstacles and to sustain Canada’s efforts both at home and abroad.

The 2018 theme was Orange the World: #HearMeToo.

Scope

The 16 Days Canada Campaign has grown significantly since it began in 2014. The 2018 edition featured a record of 58 events and activities on the national calendar, including 15 initiatives with daily frequencies. The launch was marked on Monday November 26 by the illumination of the Heritage Building at Ottawa’s City Hall, an activity organized by the Grandmothers’ Advocacy Network (GRAN) and WIIS-Canada. A range of unique activities took place during the campaign, including a youth circle, a women safety workshop, a kickboxing class, art installations, a signature campaign and book clubs. Expert panels, moderated discussions, donation booths, whiteboard campaigns, roundtables, healthy love talks and lectures, vigils and candle light marches were also held in the program. Our partners reported more than 1,250 people attending activities in the provinces and territories of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec and Yukon Territory.

Some of the activities also promoted the UNiTE (orange) Campaign led by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), such as the events featuring Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, held at the University of Ottawa and in Parliament Hill, as well as an event at Ottawa’s City Hall that culminated with a municipal proclamation. Online activities like blog posts, online artworks, social media takeovers, stats and tips, awareness campaigns, a resource ‘zine, Facebook live events, webinars and website launches such as Sheltersafe.ca were also part of the Campaign. WIIS-Canada’s social media portals reached a total of 12,291 people on Facebook (number of people who saw contents by the page or about the page) and almost 89,200 impressions were measured on twitter (5,575 impressions per day). Partners reported significant engagements on their social media platforms, extending the impact of 16 days Canada even further.

(For the full report see: 16Days_2018Report_PDF)

Calendar

November 25 – Day 1

Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • Have you wondered why November 25 was designated by the United Nations as the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women?
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

November 26 – Day 2

Launch of the 16 Days Canada Campaign and UNiTED Campaign
Illumination of the Heritage Building at Ottawa’s City Hall
Meet at 5:30 pm at Ottawa City Hall. Wear something orange and/or purple.
Organizers: Grandmother’s Advocacy Network and WIIS-Canada

On Monday, November 26, members of the organizing committee for Ottawa’s  16 Days of Activism met at City Hall where the Old Historic Building on Elgin Street turned Orange and Purple… The lighting of the building was organized by the Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN) and the Women in International Security Canada (WIIS-CANADA).

On hand to launch Ottawa’s 16 Days of Activism at Ottawa City Hall, Monday, November 26, 2018

Guest speaker was Diane Deans, who is an inspiring example of women making a difference in City Politics. Ms Deans is a member of Ottawa City Council, Canada, representing Gloucester-Southgate Ward in the city’s southeast, representing more than 49,500 residents.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence is a global campaign, the Zonta Club of Ottawa is one of the organizations taking part. [From now through 10 December, Zontians worldwide will say NO to violence against women and take a stand to end child marriage. Test your knowledge on child marriage by taking the Zonta Says NO child marriage quiz here.]

The theme for Ottawa days will include Activism Against Gender Based Violence in the Workplace.  Be sure to join the many activities planned and most of all check in to social media. Building awareness is one of the main thrusts this year with messages appearing daily on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The Zont Club of Ottawa joins Zontians world-wide in expressing the need to stop Violence Against Women during the 16 days of Activisim.

Below is the calendar of events for 16 Days of Activism.

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 Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • The Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage.
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

Day 3, November 27

Nov. 27, 2018 @ 12:00 pm – 14:00 pm

Royal Thai & Palais Imperial Restaurant 311-313 Dalhousie St, Ottawa ON K1N 7E8, Canada

Group of 78 Luncheon: The Division of America: Looking ahead after the 2018 Midterm Elections : Sarah Goldfeder

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Launch The UN 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign with Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations And Executive Director of UN Women

  • Nov. 27th – 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., room 100, Sir John A. MacDonald Building Parliament Hill, 144 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON.
  • RSVP required, please RSVP to Leclerc@sen.parl.gc.ca
  • Organizers: High Commission for South Africa to Canada, The Honourable Wanda Thomas Bernard, Senator, The Honourable Marilou McPhedran, Senator, and The Honourable Mary Coyle, Senator.

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#HearMeToo Women of Courage Speak out for Peace

  • An evening discussion with five courageous women working for human rights, peace and justice.
  • 6:30-8:30pm, Bronson Centre, room 211, 211 Bronson Ave., Ottawa, ON
  • Organizer: KAIROS Canada with Amnesty International,  regional working groups of Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC), Nobel Women’s Initiative (NWI) and Women, Peace and Security Network (WPSN) – Canada.

 Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • A post about Female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C)
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

 *November 28   Day 4

 Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • A post about Child Marriage.
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

 November 29  Day 5 

I am a Human Rights Defender: This is MY STORY

  • A conversation with Human Rights Defenders
  • 11:30-1:30pm, Fauteux Hall, FTX570 5th floor, 57 Louis-Pasteur Private #550, Ottawa, ON
  • Organizers: Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC), Nobel Women’s Initiative

 Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • A post about Gender Based Violence and Migrants.
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

Day 6, November 30 

 Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • A post about Gender Based Violence and College Campuses.
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

*December 1  Day 7

End Violence Against Women and Girls-Event of the 16 Days Canada Campaign and UNiTED Campaign!

  • Meet at 4:15 pm for a march from Minto Park, Elgin Street, to the Human Rights Monument outside City Hall and then proceed into Ottawa’s City Hall at 5:00 pm for speeches, spoken word, a proclamation by the Mayor, refreshments and an advocacy fair. Wear something Orange and/or Purple.
  • Ottawa, ON
  • Organizers: Grandmothers Advocacy Network and WIIS-Canada

 Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage.
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

 *December 2  Day 8

 Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • Women in conflict.
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

*December 3   Day 9

 Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • Human trafficking.
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

*December 4  Day 10

 Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • Zonta says no Girl Brides.
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

 *December 5  Day 11

 Leading From the Front: Combatting Gender-Based Violence in Canada’s Armed Forces

  • A roundtable discussion with LCdr (ret’d) Rosemary Park Director of Servicewomen’s Salute, Dr. Manon LeBlanc a Defence Scientist/Director General of Military Personnel Research and Analysis, Dr. Allan English an Associate Professor at Queen’s University and a CAF veteran
  • 11:00am to 2:00pm KPMG Offices, 150 Elgin Street, Suite 1800, Ottawa, ON
  • Organizers: The CDA Institute, in partnership with Women in International Security (WIIS-Canada)

 Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • Zonta says no Street Harassment.
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

 *December 6  Day 12

Outdoor Vigil: 6:00 p.m. at the Women’s Monument at Minto Park   (Elgin & Gilmour)

On 6th December 1989, 14 young students at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal were murdered. They were murdered because they were women.
Each year, we gather to hold a vigil commemorating the victims of the Montreal Massacre, as well as each life taken by violence against women and gender-based violence in our community since the previous year.

Sexual Assault Support Centre Ottawa

The Women’s Event Network of Ottawa seeks to raise awareness of the phenomenon of gender-based violence in our society, including the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and youth. This is an opportunity to acknowledge the courage and strength of survivors, and to reflect on how we can eliminate violence against women and gender-based violence in all forms.

Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • Zonta says no Internet Violence.
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

*December 7  Day 13

 Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • A post about Child Marriage.
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

 *December 8  Day 14

 Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • Intimate Partner Violence.
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

*December 9   Day 15

 Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • SDG #5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

*December 10  Day 16

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70 – Let’s stand up for equality, justice & human dignity

Observed annually on December 10th, Human Rights Day is a day in which the world recommits itself to protecting the fundamental human rights of all people, as well as their basic human freedoms. This observance day is almost always observed by the many participating governments by them holding political conferences and exhibitions that relate to various human rights issues of the day. It is also the day in which the UN Human Rights Prize is awarded, as well as the Nobel Peace Prize.

 Zonta International Facebook Campaign

  • World Human Rights Day.
  • Organizer: Zonta Club District 2

2017

What a group of days the Zonta Club of Ottawa experienced! Planning began months before. President Cindy O’Neil compiled over two dozen events being held in Ottawa for Zontians to attend.

Orange Scarves: Our November meeting, held on the 23rd November saw a beehive of activity.  Cindy O’Neil purchased a bolt of orange fleece and Lynda Pearson and Shirley Mack brought their cutting equipment.  At the end of the evening, we had a dozen orange scarves ready for distribution! Leslie Lawson had purchased a dozen orange taper candles to be used at the opening ceremonies.  Leslie also presented a large 4’X6’ Zonta Club of Ottawa, Ontario, banner for us to use.  We also reviewed a calendar of Ottawa events from which members could choose those events that mean the most to them.

November 25-December 10: Prem Grainger posted a pertinent message each day on our Facebook page for individuals within and outside the club to share and spread the message.

Calendar

November 25 Day One! A group of Zontians, all wearing their orange scarves, attended the opening ceremony held at Minto Park. Then over 150 men and women walked slowly with candles lit to the Ottawa City Hall.  Mayor Jim Watson, signed a proclamation to start the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. and several federal, provincial and city elected officials were on hand. The event was sponsored in part by Grandmothers Advocacy Group and the Ottawa Rape Centre .  Near the Ottawa City Hall, we drove around the building and witnessed the orange and purple lights on the “Old City Hall Building,”- a wonderful sight to see.

November 28, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF): A group of Zontians attended a panel presentation featuring a psychologist from Haiti, Dr. Stéphanie Loiseau, MSF Humanitarian Affairs Advisor, Jason Nickerson, and MSF Communications Officer Idriss Lomba.  In addition, the Ottawa Public Library featured the work of photographer Benedicte Kurzen and focused on Doctors Without Borders’ response to sexual and gender-based violence against young people in Haiti.  Doctors Without Borders opened the Pran Men’m clinic (Creole for ‘take my hand’) in Port-au-Prince that specializes in providing medical and psychological care to survivors of Sexual and Gender-based Violence. The vast majority of the more than 1,300 survivors of sexual violence who have been treated in the clinic are younger than 25 years, and more than half are minors.

December 6, Day 15: Vigil for students of l’École Polytechnique (Minto Park)

On 6th December 1989, 14 young students at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal were murdered. They were murdered because they were women. Each year, a vigil commemorating the victims of the Montreal Massacre is held in Ottawa at the women’s Monument in Minto Park. In addition, the community pays tribute to lives taken by violence against women and gender-based violence in our community since the previous year. Several Zontians attended and as we stood together we too paid tribute and helped to raise awareness of the phenomenon of gender-based violence in our society, including the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and youth. This was an opportunity to acknowledge the courage and strength of survivors, and to reflect on how we can eliminate violence against women and gender-based violence in all forms.

December 10, Day 16 and Human Rights Day

Prime Minister  Justin Trudeau  issued the following statement on Human Rights Day:

“Seventy years ago, delegates from around the world came together to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declares everyone is ‘born free and equal in dignity and rights.’ We take this occasion to celebrate our very own John Humphrey, who helped draft this revolutionary document, and to recommit ourselves to a more just and equal world.”  Read the entire statement at https://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2017/12/10/statement-prime-minister-human-rights-day. Zontians attended the Racially Visible Action Committee (RVAC) in partnership with the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s  National Capital Region  Equity Committee’s Human Rights Day celebration. Held at the PSAC Building, the event was presented in the two officials languages of Canada, French and English.

Zontians also attended a tea sponsored by the Ottawa Council of Women in honour of Human Rights Day. The guest speaker was Natalie Des Rosiers, MPP, Ottawa Vanier. She spoke on “The Role of Human Rights Advocacy in Supporting Women’s Equality.”

In addition to all of this, some Zontians put a Zonta sign “Add your Voice for Gender Equality” on their windows or doors for the sixteen days.

Conclusion: the Zonta Club of Ottawa, Ontario is proud to have taken action during the 16 Days of Activism following the directive of Zonta International, “During the 16 Days of Activism, 25 November-10 December, all Zonta clubs and districts are encouraged to take part in the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign and to take local, national and international actions to influence the making and implementation of laws, as well as changing gender-based attitudes and behaviors to end violence against women.”