5 key steps you can take to end gender-based violence

Every year we write something similar to the article you are about to read; and every year we hope that one day we will wake up to a universe where gender-based violence does not exist.

Yet we still find ourselves in a world where gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide weigh heavily on those who identify as women and girls. And it’s fair to say we’ve had enough.

When you click on an article like this, it usually starts with numbers and statistics that show how serious the problem really is. And yes, the statistics on gender-based violence are undeniably important and equally frightening, and if you want to see them, check out UN Women’s website and social media accountsor take our quiz.

But there simply aren’t enough numbers in the world to highlight the seriousness of gender-based violence. How many women must be killed or attacked before the numbers are enough to show world leaders that we need more action?

It should be as simple as acknowledging that women, girls and victims of GBV deserve and need their human rights respected and protected. So in this article we are not going to give you statistics. Just the fact that you clicked to read it tells us that you believe in the same world we dream of. The fact that you’re reading this says you’re with us when we say, “Enough is enough.”

Let’s do this then, let’s take action together against this horrific epidemic. No numbers, no numbers, no statistics, at least not today – just urgent and determined action, guided by the need to defend the human rights of others.

Here are 5 key actions you can take now to support this year’s 16 Days Campaign and help end gender-based violence.

Sign our open letter urging leaders to invest in sexual and reproductive health

Sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) are essential in the fight to achieve gender equality and end gender-based violence; these rights include the right of access to maternal healthcare, physical autonomy, sex education and the right to privacy. You can learn more about SRHR and why they are so important to ending extreme poverty in our explanation here.

Currently, these rights are undermined or banned in many parts of the world, leading to situations where women and girls are threatened with poverty simply because they exist as they are. Join us and sign our petition here urging world leaders to prioritize SRHR and invest significantly in these vital rights.

How does war affect women and girls? Take our quiz.

Problems that women and girls around the world face every day are often exacerbated in times of conflict and crisis. Gender-based violence is no different. GBV is often used by parties as a weapon of war – women and girls are deprived of their human rights and physical autonomy and objectified to the extreme.

The more we understand the experiences of women and girls in conflict and war, the more we can call on their protection. You can learn about the dangers women and girls face during conflict by reading our explanation here and taking our quiz.

Learn more about what maternal health looks like around the world

Much of SRHR gives women and girls the right to access sexual and reproductive health care – millions of pregnant mothers and babies around the world face serious health consequences and even death because they are denied this right. According to UNICEF, 2.8 million pregnant women and newborns die each year due to inadequate access to maternal health care.

Take our quiz and learn more about why maternal healthcare is so crucial so we can all take action to demand more of it.

Why are sexual and reproductive health and rights important? You tell us.

We have highlighted how a lack of SRHR can threaten the lives of women and girls, but there are many other ways that SRHR impacts communities on a daily basis. Women and girls everywhere are affected in one way or another by the barriers they encounter in SRHR. The lack of these rights is a direct systemic effect of poverty, and can also further contribute to poverty – by perpetuating the cycle and increasing rather than decreasing gender inequality.

We would like to hear from you, why do you think protecting and investing in SRHR is important? Share your thoughts with us to let women and girls around the world know they are not alone, and to tell leaders why SRHR is so essential to a world without poverty.

Take on our challenges with the Global Citizen app

Throughout this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign, we’re teaming up with three incredible activists who are also winners of the 2022 Global Citizen Prize. Anuscheh Amir-Khalili, Payzee Mahmod and Mam’Khanyisile Motsa are calling on global citizens around the world to take action with them by meeting their lifestyle challenges through the Global Citizen app during 16 Days of Activism.

All you need to do is download the app, scroll to our challenges page and keep an eye out for their challenges so you can participate. Get started with our #16Days: Stop Gender-Based Violence Challenge, and you’ll be part of a journey that introduces you to the work of Anuscheh, Payzee and Mam’Khanyi and shows you how to be part of the mission to end Gender-Related Violence.

Download the app here.

If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up to become a global citizen so you can take more actions with us to advocate for gender equality and the end of GBV throughout the year, after 16 days of activism. Let’s keep taking action hour after hour, day after day, year after year, until we can open our eyes and find ourselves in a world where we don’t have to write articles like this.

5 key steps you can take to end gender-based violence

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