Members of the Anglican Communion are participating in a range of initiatives during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), which begin on 25 November and end on 10 December 2017.
Anglicans are joining ecumenical partners to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence in a campaign called ‘Precious in God’s Eyes’.
The campaign will initially use social media to send out photos of international and local faith leaders making their pledge to ‘not keep silent on sexual & gender-based violence’.
The photos will later be put at the centre of Anglican and its partners’ participation at different United Nations platforms.
“All Anglicans can get involved in the ‘Precious in God’s eyes’ campaign, said Anglican Communion Director for Women in Church and Society, Revd Terrie Robinson. “Posting our 16 Days photos and pledges is just one way of letting the world know that we want to change the environments we live in where gender-based violence is still allowed to diminish and destroy people’s lives, especially those of women and children.”
To take part, take a photo of yourself with a sign such as this one and posting it on social media to @AnglicansEndGBV with the hashtag #16Days. Or send your picture to Chris Curry who can post it on social media for you.
The Mothers’ Union has released a video and resources to encourage people to “join together with one voice, to raise awareness of and call for an end to gender-based violence in all forms, and in all societies.” They are encouraging discussion around gender-based violence to challenge the myths and harmful attitudes around it.
The Mothers’ Union is asking everyone to take part in a symbolic act at any point in the 16 days. The act involves people linking hands with one another to represent unity in ending GBV; then reaching out hands to represent connection with those around the world affected by, or campaigning against GBV; and then lifting hands up as a sign of prayer for an end to GBV.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is supporting the Mothers’ Union campaign, and urged Christians everywhere to “stand up and speak out for justice and dignity for all”.
He said, “Gender-based violence has blighted societies from the earliest times, and continues to be one of the greatest injustices in the world today. No society is immune to it, and all too often, women and girls, against whom acts of violence or abuse have been committed, are unable to speak out because of stigma placed on them … Together in the power of the Spirit, we can break the power of silence.”
If you are marking the 16 Days of Activism locally, we would also love to share your news with the rest of the Communion and our ecumenical partners, so please be in touch! You can follow the social media links at the bottom of this article and use the hashtag #16Days to be a part of the movement.
Anglicans belong to the We Will Speak Out faith coalition against sexual violence (WWSO). Coalition members are hosting many events and activities during the 16 days to raise awareness on gender-based violence.
A WWSO webinar will be held on Wednesday 29th November at 12:30-13:30 UK time. There will be a panel discussion on the role of faith communities in responding to the needs of GBV survivors, and how to build survivor movements that can shape policy and practice.
Click here for more information on this and other events, and to sign up to the WWSO mailing list.