The Global 16 Days Campaign is a crucial worldwide movement that aims to put an end to the violence that women and girls face daily. This campaign is a call to action that unites individuals and organizations across the globe in the fight against gender-based violence. To commemorate this significant period, MenEngage Africa partners came together to organize a range of activities in their respective countries.
These activities were designed to raise awareness about the importance of ending gender-based violence and to inspire action amongst young people across the African continent. One of the events that took place was a series of workshops that focused on educating young people about the various forms of violence that women and girls face. These workshops were led by experts in the field and provided participants with a safe space to learn and ask questions.
Another activity that was prominent throughout the MenEngage Africa network was organized marches. These brought together young people from different communities to raise their voices against gender-based violence. The marches are a powerful display of unity and solidarity, as young people from all walks of life came together to demand change.
The Sustainable Women Organisation, in partnership with MenEngage Cameroon, has organized a Hiking Bootcamp in Wosing Community, Cameroon. The SiloWalk event, led by a team from Sustainable Women Organization, gathered 50 participants, including women leaders, traditional leaders, and religious sisters. The event highlighted gender-based violence in the community, such as widowhood rights, rape, and economic inequality. The Women Leader and Religious Sister lead the walk with heart-to-heart talks on Gender based violence, highlighting realities in Wosing community such as widowhood rights, denial of female child at the hospital at birth, rape, gender discrimination on education, assaults and denial of economic opportunities. They also drew their attention to the fact that, children are gift from God, that most girls if given access and opportunity to education they will become everything a father will want from a male child. They should be punishment to every man who will rejects a female child at birth. The event highlights the need for change in traditional practices and the importance of empowering women.
The MenEngage Madagascar network has been actively working to combat gender-based violence in the South and Vatovavy regions of Madagascar. Through community mobilization activities, the network has raised awareness about gender-based violence and promoted women’s rights. The mobilizations took place in four districts from November 28th to November 4th, 2023. Additionally, the network launched capacity-building activities in the Boeny, East, Vatovavy, and South regions. In the South and East regions, capacity-building focused on positive masculinity to improve GBV prevention results. In the Vatovavy region, a capacity-building workshop was organized for local authorities.
MenEngage Malawi participated in the national launch of the 16 days of activism. During the launch, men engage Malawi had a display booth and also presented their work to the minister of gender and other delegates.
MenEngage Democratic Republic of Congo
The MenEngage participated and carried out a number of activities during the 16 days activism to name a few the network hosted: A health walk organized by MenEngage took place in the Bushagara IDP camp on December 8, 2023, in Bushagara as part of 16 Days of Activism, MenEngage DRC organized a health walk. The aim of this activity was to raise awareness of responsible parenthood as a means of combating GBV.
Secondly the MenEngage DRC attended the launch of the 16 days of activism in Goma. Under the theme “all united, committed to the prevention of violence against women and young girls and organized by the Provincial Government of North Kivu launched the 16 Days of Activism campaign this Saturday, November 25, 2023. Through a series of interactive discussions and education sessions focused on combating violence, MenEngage DRC managed to reach hundreds of students. As part of their efforts, they engaged with 476 participants from Musawato Institute, 63 students from the same institution, and another 80+ attendees from the BASSIN DU CONGO school complex. Across a span of 16 days, the youth committee of MenEngage DRC organized an array of activities designed to incite conversations and reflection on various forms of gender-based violence and methods to combat it. The purpose of these actions was to cultivate healthy and respectful mindsets among young learners, and future leaders who deserve mutual admiration and non-discriminatory treatment, irrespective of their gender.
The MenEngage eSwatini and Church Forum collaborated to conduct a workshop targeting couples, particularly newlyweds, on preventing IPV. The workshop focused on positive parenting, positive fatherhood, and partner support. 17 participants actively participated, revealing the tendency of scriptures to reinforce harmful norms. Both men and women expressed frustration with the gender fishbowl, fearing judgment from their religion. They questioned the role of men in providing after sin, raising questions about the consequences of washed sins. Participants requested continued sessions and increased time allocation, with plans to conduct these sessions in their churches and invite MenEngage to participate.
The members of MenEngage Africa also took to social media to share information about the campaign and encourage people to take action. They used hashtags such as #EndGBV, #16DaysOfActivism, and #MenEngageAfrica to reach a wider audience and promote their message. They also shared stories of survivors of gender-based violence and highlighted the importance of engaging men and boys in the fight against this issue.