Gabrielle on 16 days of activismWritten by The Young Women's Movement
“After the beating, this part is still sensitive, so don’t press”, smiles the television host. She continues by adding that if you use loose powder to set your makeup, it will last longer, thus concealing your bruises all day long! This makeup advice was aired on a daily TV show earlier this week in Morocco. The reaction of Moroccan women was strong and unanimous: this is so far from being ok, you can’t even see ok in your rear-view mirror. Women worldwide supported and carried their cry. The TV channel apologised, owning up to an “error in judgement as to the seriousness of the issue of domestic abuse”.
Yes, it was, but I think it was also a perfect illustration of society’s attitude towards gender-based violence where the message consistently places responsibility on women: you must learn how to dress and when and where to walk in order to avoid being attacked; you should take self-defence classes and wear a rape whistle around your neck at all times; you should cover up any signs of abuse.
In Scotland alone, 80% of reported incidents were females victims by male perpetrators. Women need to know that if they experience gender-based violence they have people to turn to. They need to know that they will be listened to, never judged, and protected. They need to know that they will have people there to provide them with mental, physical, financial, and any other form of support that they might need.
With 4 days left to go in the #16daysofactivism to end Violence against Women campaign here are some of the ways you can still get involved and #orangetheworld now and beyond the 10th of December.
Every year, from the 25th of November (Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls Day) to the 10th of December (Human Rights Day), the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence campaign takes place.
This campaign was initiated by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) in Rutgers University (New Jersey), in the hope that it would raise awareness on the on-going issue of violence against women. Thanks to the campaign, loads of events and opportunities have cropped up to inform people about the issue and help raise funds to support women directly or organisations who support survivors.
To follow what activists have been up to, you can visit the campaign’s Facebook and Twitter. You can also go check out the UN’s Orange the World campaign, that aims at oranging as many things as possible during the campaign as an awareness raising tool (so far, Niagra falls, Petra and the Council of Europe building have been #oranged, to name a few). On the UN’s website there are plenty of suggestions about how to get involved with this campaign, so have a wee browse and see how you could help (anyone up for oranging Arthur’s Seat? I think that would be pretty cool…)
You can also turn to your local charities for great ideas. The Write to End Violence Against Women awards, organised by Scottish charities such as Zero Tolerance and Scottish Women’s Aid in partnership with The Sunday Herald aim to promote and reward writers who write to, as the title suggest, end violence against women (here are this year’s shortlisted pieces ). Scottish Women’s Aid have set up an exhibition in Edinburgh celebrating the history of the development of the service, alongside free workshops delivered by Shakti’s Women’s Aid, featuring some of their work.
I think that we have made significant progress, for example The Scottish government has announced a significant increase in funding for the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre, which will help provide support, advocacy and many other services to advance the cause, but there is still so much to be done, and thanks to the amazingly active Scottish third sector, so many ways for you to help.
Have a browse, and if you are not one for organised fun and campaigning, but you still care, have a chat with your friends. Let them know that the campaign is happening. Spread the word, you will be helping so much by doing so. This issue should be one of the past, let’s work together to create a world in which concealer exists solely to boost our confidence, not to camouflage trauma.
If you’re interested in getting involved with our feminist blogging network send an email to blogging network editor Jenn at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabrielle Blackburn is one of our fantastic blogging network members. As a cognitive scientist and a feminist activist, she is interested in exploring the roots and consequences of prejudice and bias, especially those relating to gender. She also enjoys good beer, pole dancing, and confusing people with her unidentifiable accent.