Hivos out in force during #16Days of activism

December 2, 2017

Hivos believes that all women and girls should have control over their lives and be able to actively participate in social, political and economic spheres, so we work tirelessly with various human rights instruments in support of communities’ and countries’ efforts towards gender equality.

This year, during the UN’s global ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign’ from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day), Hivos is out in force – on the ground and online – to help galvanise action to end violence against women and girls around the world

Hivos Southeast Asia

Helping victims heal from the trauma of sexual violence is just as important as preventing this violence. This is certainly not an easy task, especially when women have lived with trauma for many years. Very often they also need help from others. For this reason, a manual for counselors helping sexual violence survivors in Timor Leste has been published with the support of Hivos Southeast Asia. It specifically targets the survivors of sexual and domestic violence during/as a consequence of the 1975-1999 conflict with Indonesia.

Hivos East Africa

This year, our East Africa hub is drawing attention to different forms of violence against women with a campaign based on creative photography. The communicative power of this art form is what inspired Hivos East Africa to join the global 16 days of activism campaign with a photo series dubbed: #InHerShoes. These powerful images modelled by the hub’s own staff depict the real stories of women facing different forms of abuse in the region.

The key messaging lays out straight facts that counter and disprove the many myths that surround gender-based violence, such as ”being sexually abused is the victim’s fault” or “you can stop sexual harassment by ignoring it” which is not true.

Hivos Latin America

Hivos Latin America is also participating in the UN campaign with a series of staff photos (scroll down Twitter feed to November 25). Our colleagues appear dressed in orange in front of Hivos corporate creative photography posters, holding signs with messages about ending violence against women and that support the #NiunaMenos #NiUnaMas campaign that took the entire region by storm about two months ago. Hub director Myrtille Danse tells the world in her blog post for the 16 Days campaign that Hivos Latin America still sees the glass half full thanks to the strong voices, deep commitment and tireless efforts to uphold women’s empowerment and cure the gender-based “epidemic” currently affecting the region.

Hivos Middle East & North Africa

In the context of this year’s 16 Days campaign, Hivos’ Women on the Frontline programme is bringing to the fore the work being done by its Women on the Frontline members in Syria to end violence against Syrian women and to stipulate war as the worst form of violence. Over the course of these 16 days, the programme is publishing a series of stories about Women on the Frontline members in Syria. Through recounting their personal stories, and the essential work that their organisations do, each story provides a unique perspective and calls for action to end violence against women. You can also read them on the Women on the Frontline website (scroll down).

Hivos Southern Africa

The focus of our Women @ Work partners’ #16Days activities in Malawi and Zambia is on simplifying and translating the Employment Act into local languages so women in the horticultural value chains and in the informal sector can understand and use this legislation to protect their rights. We are also holding meetings and appearing on radio programmes to advocate against injustices that women suffer in the workplace due to unfair work conditions and exposure to occupational hazards without compensation.

Hivos Southern Africa is focusing on familiarising the public with the Sexual Harassment Act through informative meetings and social media messaging, while theatre groups will visit farms and perform plays and skits on the topic followed by discussions.