THE global campaign dedicated to raising awareness and gaining wider support to end gender-based violence will be launched with a specific focus on ending domestic violence in the Solomon Islands.
To launch the campaign on Tuesday 25th November, women, men, youth and children are all invited to take part in a parade at 4pm (assemble from 3pm) from the Multipurpose Hall to the Art Gallery where the 2014 16 Days of Activism campaign will be officially opened under the theme Hapi Famili, Hapi Kandere: Endim Vaelens Insaed lo Hom.
The 2014 campaign provides a valuable opportunity to raise awareness on the recently passed Family Protection Act (FPA) which aims to eliminate the high levels of domestic violence in Solomon Islands.
The Act will do this by giving responsibility to government agencies such as the Courts, the Police and Health Care Providers to ensure that homes in Solomon Islands are peaceful and safe for all members of the family.
Globally, one in three women and girls experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime.
In the Solomon Islands the statistics are higher.
Evidence tells us that two out of three women in the Solomon Islands aged 15-49, experience physical or sexual violence, or both, by an intimate partner and 38% of women report their first sexual encounter is forced.
These staggering rates of violence are some of the highest in the Pacific and the consequences impact everyone in the Solomon Islands.
Each year the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence campaign runs from the 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence, to the 10th of December, Human Rights Day.
These dates were chosen to highlight that acts of gender-based violence are a violation of human rights and eliminating all forms of gender based violence is a human rights issue.
In the Solomon Islands the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) is coordinating a 16 Days of Activism Organising Committee comprised of local government, donor organisations, UN agencies, CSOs, NGOs, FBOs and working with various stakeholders.
The Organising Committee and committed stakeholders will be organising a variety of events throughout the 16 Days of Activism which will enable people to come together, network, and unite in the campaign to end all forms of gender based violence.
Any organisation, agency, group or individual can participate in the 16 Days of Activism by attending any of these local events and awareness-raising activities or by organising their own.
Specific details of events throughout the 16 Days of Activism will be announced soon.
Look and listen for updates in the newspaper and on the radio or contact, Julianne Wickham on 23544 or [email protected]