Activism 101: 16 Ways to Commemorate World Human Rights Day

Today is World Human Rights Day which celebrates and commemorates the creation and existence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which came into being on 10 December 1948. It is one of the most significant days in the United Nations’ calendar of events and it is traditionally on 10 December that the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and Nobel Peace Prize are awarded. In addition, many activists, charities, government bodies, non-governmental organisations and grassroots groups working on all aspects of human rights protection and promotion schedule special events in observance of the day. Continue reading

Activism 101: 16 Notable VAW Organisations and Activists on Twitter That You Should Follow

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. Continue reading

Transforming Personal Pain Into Positive Action: The Pixel Project’s 16 Female Role Models 2011

When we presented our first list of 16 female role models fighting to end violence against women in their communities back in December 2010, our sole intent was simple: to highlight the good work of the heroines of the movement to end violence against women wherever they are in the world. Indeed, this list came about because The Pixel Project team noticed the bright sparks of these women’s efforts in our daily work to collect, collate and share news about the violence against women movement worldwide.

We hoped that these women would be an inspiration to others to get involved with the cause and were delighted to see the outpouring of support that the Facebook and Twitter communities showed for the 2010 list of female role models. Thanks to the generous amounts of sharing and retweeting of the list by our supporters and their networks, those 16 women got an extra – and well-deserved – moment in the spotlight.

With such an overwhelmingly positive response to last year’s list, we decided to make the list an annual online milestone to continue shining a light on many more dedicated and awe-inspiring women activists toiling ceaselessly to prevent, stop and end violence against women in their communities. Continue reading

16 Resources About War-time Violence Against Women

The Bulgarian Martyresses by Konstantin Makovsky (1877). Atrocities of bashibazouks in Bulgaria in Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78.

Violence is an inescapable and terrible manifestation of war and militarism with the worst of the violence being atrocities against civilians being committed in the name of intimidating the enemy to win the war. From the social acceptance of rape as part of war in ancient Greece to the Chinese and Korean comfort women of World War II. From the mass rapes of Bosnia Herzegovina and the Congo, to the forced virginity checks of female protestors in Egypt, women and girls have borne the brunt of many of these crimes against humanity.

In the face of this long-entrenched practice of using violence against women as an intimidation strategy and a sign of military might, we need to follow the lead of 2011 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner, Leymah Gbowee who led the women of Liberia to Monrovia’s town hall to demand of then-President Charles Taylor: “We the women of Liberia will no more allow ourselves to be raped, abused, misused, maimed and killed,” she shouted. “Our children and grandchildren will not be used as killing machines and sex slaves!”

Many will say that it is impossible to achieve world peace but that does not mean we should stop trying on the account of it being possibly futile. More than ever, this is the demand we must collectively make of those who would wage war for power, domination and money. Continue reading