What is Gender-Based Violence?
Gender-based violence refers to any harmful act directed at an individual because of their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, gender-based norms as well as gender stereotypes. Gender-based violence (GBV) is a serious violation of human rights and a life-threatening issue. While both men and women can be victims of violence, violence against women (often at the hands of men) is a unique category of violence that relies on the historical and current unequal balance of power between males and females. Here are some ways we can work to end it.
10 ways to raise YOUR voice against Gender-Based Violence:
Start a conversation
You can engage with respected community elders to fight against gender-based violence because it robs victims of their dignity and self esteem.
Ask your spiritual leader to hold a special service to raise awareness
Raising awareness through spiritually held services would lead to a balance of mind and body, thereafter even of thoughts.
Be courageous, don’t be afraid to speak up for those who have lost their voices
In the words of Joanna Oala: “It’s better to speak up and let your voice be heard”. Speaking up is essential in order to challenge societal attitudes and myths that allow gender-based violence to persist. This is to ensure that survivors know that they are not alone and can access help, justice and healing, and to place pressure on governments and those in authority to take necessary actions to combat it.
Notice when someone invades your boundaries
It’s important to gain self-awareness. You need to set boundaries for yourself and make sure to speak up when someone crosses said boundaries. This can go both ways, as you should make sure you are aware of the other person’s boundaries too. Being mindful of these things can help you take a step further.
Educate others about GBV
Since this is about spreading awareness, you can start with educating yourself about important aspects of GBV. If you want to take a step forward, you can host awareness campaigns by contacting Non Government or Non Profit Organisations (NGOs or NPOs).
Celebrate all aspects of masculinity, including compassion and sensitivity
Equality goes both ways, while it is just as important to celebrate ‘masculine’ characteristics of females, you should also celebrate characteristics of men that are not considered masculine by society. Doing so will enable the men around you to feel safer.
Use social media as a platform to speak up
Social media is a platform that reaches millions with just the click of a button. Make sure you utilise this to the best of its abilities. Contact accounts that are focussed on gender-based violence and ask them if they can spotlight your pieces or host Instagram live sessions with you for you to spread information to people around the world.
Know the data and demand more of it
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, there has been an increase in domestic violence. Collecting and keeping track of relevant data related to GBV is very important to keep yourself informed and provide survivors with the right support, especially during these times.
Donate to GBV-focused NGOs / NPOs
Do your part in generously donating to or funding GBV focused organisations as you could indirectly support victims, create an impact in favour of the cause.
Stay updated on GBV laws
Make yourself aware of laws regarding GBV and follow up on them so that you can get to know of important updates and information that would broaden your understanding of the issue.
by Ahaan, Priya and Neyla, Young Changemakers from TribesforGOOD who strongly believe in gender justice!