Newsbrief, TerraViva United Nations

16-Day Campaign to End Gender Violence

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 20 2015 (IPS) - Civil society members from around the world are calling for action to end gender-based violence during its annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.

Launched by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), the 16 Days Campaign brings together almost 5,500 organizations globally.

The campaign, whose theme is ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe’, focuses on violations of the right to education, especially of young girls and women.

“The political, economic, and social implications of the right to, and denial of, education must be at the forefront of the agenda for policymakers, communities, and concerned individuals,” said CWGL’s Executive Director Krishanti Dharmaraj.

“When we have women, girls, people with disabilities, LGBTQI people, migrants, and indigenous people denied the right to education in safe and equal spaces, we as a world community stand to lose,” she continued.

According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), almost 60 million children of primary school age are not in school, half of whom are girls. An additional 32 million girls of lower secondary school age also do not attend school.

UNICEF reported that South and West Asia has the largest gender gap in its out-of-school population with 80 percent of its girls unlikely to ever start school compared to 16 percent of out-of-school boys.

The denial of education not only prevents girls and women to participate in the economy, but it is also associated to early and forced marriage, physical and/or sexual violence, and ill health.

CWGL highlighted the modest financing dedicated to equitable education compared to global military spending.

In 2014, global military spending was approximately 1.8 trillion dollars while 26 billion dollars was provided to achieve education for all by the end of 2015.

Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai also exposed the issue during the Oslo Summit on Education for Development in July 2015, stating: “Thirty-nine billion dollars is spent on [the world’s] militaries in only eight days.”

“If the world leaders decide to take one week and a day off from war and military work, we can put every child in school,” she continued.

Commitments to education for all was renewed in May 2015 when 160 countries adopted the Incheon Declaration titled “Education 2030: Towards inclusive and equitably quality education and lifelong learning for all.”

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have also since included similar targets.

The 16 Days Campaign will fittingly begin on Nov 25, the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, and aims to shed light on the impact of militarism and to call for end to gender-based violence around the world.

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