National campaign to end violence against women and girls starts

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The 16 days of activism campaign against gender-based and violence against women and girls will commence this Saturday, 25th November through to 10th December.

The national campaign purposely links the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November and International Human Rights Day on 10 December were chosen to signify that violence against women is a violation of human rights.

The campaign takes place in Honiara and other parts of the country with a national theme “Together we can end violence against women and girls through education.”

The theme recognizes that structural discrimination and inequality is perpetuated in a cycle of violence that does not end even when girls and young women are in schools to be educated and / or access higher tertiary education.  

 Gender-based violence with respect to the right to education is a consistent threat in public spaces, schools, and homes and is a detriment to the universal human right to education.

This year’s campaign focuses on the precarious situation of education for girls and boys, young women and men.

The Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs together with other partners and stakeholders coordinate a variety of activities such as public awareness through truck convoy through town and awareness talks in some locations in Honiara. Also through radio programs, talkback show, open forum, trainings and workshops, awareness talks and drama and other forms of awareness raising to raise awareness on gender based violence in the Solomon Islands during the campaign.

The campaign will commence with a public awareness using a truck convoy through town on Saturday 25th November at 8am from Multipurpose Hall to Henderson and through to White River.

The official launch program will be held later that day at 4pm, at the National Museum Auditorium, followed by lightning of candles to remember victims and survivors of violence against women and girls.

The 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.

Solomon Islands has one of the highest documented rates of violence against women in the world.

A Family Health and Safety Study released in 2009 found that 64 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 who have ever been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner. Of those women, 70 per cent never sought help and only 17 per cent sought help from formal services.

The government through the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs has taken some positive steps to promote women’s human rights through its implementation of the Gender Equality and Women’s Development Policy 2016 – 2020 and the National Policy on Eliminating Violence against Women and Girls 2017 – 2020.

The Family Protection Act passed in 2014 provides for the protection of families from domestic violence and to promote safety, health and wellbeing of victims of domestic violence and for related purposes.

Members of the public are invited to take part in the float parade and launching program as well as other activities throughout the campaign period. The theme colour of the campaign is orange.

For more information on the campaign you can contact the Chairperson of the 16 Days Activism organising committee at the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs on 23544 or email: SBuka@mwycfa.gov.sb .