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New Brunswick, NJ, November 21, 2013 — On November 25, 2013, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University will launch the 23rd annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. CWGL will join thousands of activists from around the world in a call for an end to gender-based violence and more substantial responses on the part of governments to act with due diligence in protecting and preventing gender-based violence. Numerous events are planned for the 16 Days Campaign. Participating organizations include: Mesa Local contra la Violencia de Género de San Isidro (Argentina); Women’s Aid (Ireland); National Center Against Violence (Mongolia); YUWA (Nepal); Vuk'uWazi Institute for Social Change (South Africa); and Kenaz - Desarrollo de Proyectos Sociales (Spain), among many others.

Symbolically designated to emphasize that gender-based violence is a human rights violation, the 16 Days Campaign begins on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25) and concludes on International Human Rights Day (December 10). The Campaign theme, “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!” highlights the intersections of gender-based violence and militarism, as well as the related issues of economic and social rights experienced by women and their communities.

As militarism continues to be a key source of gender-based violence, with detrimental consequences for the safety and security of women, children, and men, CWGL is engaging with 16 Days Campaign participants to challenge the normalization of militarism and strengthen advocacy against socioeconomic structures that perpetuate gender-based violence. The Campaign acknowledges that violent masculinities, harmful traditions, and legal policies help normalize gender-based violence and impunity. The impact of militarism can be seen in the way military budgets and war are supported while ignoring the daily lives of women, children, and men who are denied social, political, economic rights and attacked or killed for advocating for these rights.

“Gender-based violence and militarism are deeply interconnected with economic and social rights. It is not enough to simply say we must end gender-based violence; economic access and social equality are structurally part of the full realization of the human rights of all individuals. When women are empowered economically and security is ensured, the world stands to gain” says Dr. Radhika Balakrishnan, Executive Director of CWGL, global coordinator of the 16 Days Campaign.

CWGL is hosting a social media mobilization effort on Twitter and Facebook throughout the 16 Days Campaign, and will be sharing a “Question of the Day,” blogs on various aspects of the Campaign theme, and other information on resources and planned events worldwide. Follow @16DaysCampaign and use the #16days hashtag to join the discussion.

There is no country and no society unaffected by gender-based violence and it continues to be the responsibility of all people to bring an end to this human rights violation. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, the 16 Days Campaign is a powerful platform to raise the call for an end to gender-based violence and to advocate for the full realization of human rights and achievement of gender equality.

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