Turbo-boosted into cyberspace, 2011 saw ‘The Arab Spring’ documented in real time. The tweets poured in- sometimes 50 at a time- as the people of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Bahrain- decided enough was enough. The Twittersphere has shown us, hope for a better future spreads like wild fire.
The growing movement to end violence against women (VAW) is a frontrunner in changing the world for the better through online people power. The international 16 days of activism has showcased how countless anti-vaw charities have integrated Web 2.0 into their online strategies- holding governments to account on funds, law making and resources, and also galvanising ordinary men and women to put a stop to violence against women, for good.
Social media also allowed the movement to push open the “behind closed doors” mentality. The victims of formerly “taboo” crimes such as Female Genital Mutilation, domestic violence and rape, can speak out with hope and positivity for a future free of violence. Online information sharing, capacity building, fund and awareness raising are being tweeted out as a stream of bite-sized, easily digestible activism at 140 characters at a time.
As part of our 16 for 16 blogging campaign and as an active member of the worldwide Twitter activist community (we tweet VAW news, daily helplines, statistics and information round-the-clock, 7 days a week, 365 days a year), The Pixel Project has set ourselves the tricky task of choosing 16 notable organisations and activists on Twitter which seek an end to violence against women. The range and number of VAW organisations and activists in the worldwide online community are immense, savvy and vast - choosing only 16 has been no easy feat! We have however narrowed it down and they are profiled below in alphabetical order.
So if you are not on Twitter, sign up today. If you are a tweeter – get following!
It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.
Written by Angelique Mulholland; Edited by Regina Yau
50 Million Missing is a global campaign to stop India’s female genocide. In three generations a staggering 50 million women have been selectively eliminated from India’s population through practices like female feticide, infanticide, intentional starvation of girls, and dowry related murders. The 50 Million Missing Campaign was founded in December 2006 by writer and gender-activist Rita Banerji. Today it is an extensive, online, international campaign, which runs on volunteer effort and zero funds. The 50 Million Missing passionately believe that the only way to stop this staggering and silent genocide is to enforce the existent laws pertaining to female feticide and dowry.
Bell Bajao is a campaign by Breakthrough, a human rights organization, to bring domestic violence and all violence against women to a halt. Based in India, Bell Bajoa has used many innovative techniques to combat violence in all its forms. As well as its commendable multimedia activities, the campaign reaches into the heart of the community by working with community youth leaders under the Breakthrough Advocates Program.
Break the Cycle are a leading U.S. non-profit organization addressing teen dating violence. Teen dating violence is an urgent and silent epidemic. One in three teens will experience abuse in a dating relationship, and more than two-thirds of them will never report it to anyone. Break the Cycle’s mission is to engage, educate and empower youth to build lives and communities free from domestic violence. Their success is demonstrated by more than a decade of working with teens through education and awareness raising projects to prevent and end domestic and dating violence.
Based in the U.K, EVAW opposes all forms of violence against women and works at a strategic level with policy makers and local authorities, holding the government and decision makers to account on promises to end violence against women. EVAW has recently engaged in visual media to challenge cultures where violence and sexual violence have been normalised in language.
Equality Now works to end violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world through the mobilization of public pressure. Areas of focus are discrimination in law, sexual violence, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Trafficking. Promoting action and positive steps to empower women, Equality’s Now’s “100 Steps to Equality” details 100 actions to empower women and challenge the many forms of violence faced today.
GEMS is North America’s largest organization offering direct services to girl-survivors of domestic trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Based in New York, GEMS seeks to transform public perception, and revolutionize the systems and policies that impact sexually exploited youth. Tweeting out advocacy, support services and raising awareness, GEMS gives a voice and a future to the many survivors of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
Holly Kearl wrote the book “Stop Street Harassment” and is the co-author of report Crossing Line: Sexual Harassment at School. She founded Stop Street Harassment in 2008 and International Anti-Street Harassment Day in 2011. Since 2007 she’s worked full time for AAUW where she manages programs that address issues like sexual harassment and assault and workplace discrimination. Holly regularly speaks and writes/blogs on the topics of street harassment, sexual harassment in schools and the workplace, sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence.
Kathleen Milliken is the author of Escaping The Glass Cage: A Story of Survival & Empowerment from Domestic Violence, creator of Project Empowerment & Climb for Empowerment. Offering lashings of online positivity in her twittersphere, Kathleen is a survivor of domestic violence and a beacon of light to women struggling to find empowerment after suffering domestic abuse. Her many projects are testament to her on-going commitment to end violence against women, and helping the voiceless find a voice.
Maps 4 Aid is an innovative campaign which seeks to raise awareness of violence against women in India by tracking and mapping reports and incidents of violence. Reports about rape, “honour” killings, street harassment, abuse, sexual harassment at work, infanticide, foeticide and dowry related violence are all documented and shared on the website and twitter. Set up in 2011, Maps 4 aid is volunteer led and offers helplines, advice and information for the fight against violence against women in India. We expect big things of this innovative, information led campaign.
Men Can Stop Rape (MCSR) is a not for profit, North American organisation based in Washington, DC, whose mission is to mobilize men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence- especially men’s violence against women. Since its inception in 1997, MCSR has led the call to redefine masculinity and male strength as part of preventing men’s violence against women.
The Orchid Project has a simple vision: a world free from female genital cutting (FGC). FGC is a globally recognised abuse of human rights, child rights and women’s rights. Nevertheless, 3 million girls a year are cut in Africa alone. The Orchid projects will fulfils its aims by working with partners who deliver a sustainable, community-led end to female genital cutting. Communicating the success of these programmes and advocating at the highest level for increased resource to end FGC. Tweets are from Julia and Ruthie – why not tweet them to say hi!
A Safe World For Women is a global women’s human rights movement. Focusing on a range of issues including human trafficking, poverty, the environment and domestic violence, A Safe World 4 Women are tweeting out from the grassroots to the heads of government, keeping us all informed of how women and men are uniting together to make a safe world for the next generation.
Say NO – UNiTE is a UN Women campaign that started as UNIFEM’s effort to raise 1 million actions by pulling together and recording the global movement to end violence against women. From the grassroots campaigns of the Republic of Congo, to the giant UN Women’s movement, to the Cameroonian farmers on anti-rape protests, to the individual activists of every Nation- “Say NO- Unite” records in real time, the power of the committed, to bring about lasting change for the many. The Pixel Project is one of the Say NO campaign’s launch partners.
Somaly Mam is a Cambodian anti-slavery activist & survivor fighting for victims of slavery all over the world. In 2006, Somaly was profiled as a CNN Hero in recognition of her brave fight to save so many young, innocent victims of human trafficking and modern day slavery. 21st century slavery sees schoolgirls coerced into sexual slavery by pimps posing as caring boyfriends, women and children are sold to brothels, and threatened with violence or death if they try to escape. The Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF) is working around the world to end these atrocities through direct services for victims, advocacy, and outreach.
Women for Women International is an international women’s human rights charity working to help women transform their lives in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Womankind partner with women’s rights organisations who are tackling the day to day issues that affect women’s lives and who are creating impact within their own communities. They deliver the essential support these women’s organisations need to amplify their voice, increase their impact and bring about greater change.
The White Ribbon campaign is the largest movement in the world of men working to end violence against women. Encouraging men and boys from all walks of life to make a pledge to end violence against women, The White Ribbon campaign educates and campaigns about domestic and sexual violence. Set up in Canada 20 years ago by a group of men sitting around a kitchen table and deciding that something had to change, The White Ribbon campaign has now grown into a powerful, global organisation. Tweeting out events, advocacy and ideas for change, The White Ribbon central office in Toronto, Canada, is a positive influence on encouraging men to be part of the solution in the campaign to end violence against women.