Year in Review

As a tumultuous year for gender equality draws to a close it’s worthwhile to look back and see what successes and positive developments have been achieved in the past 12 months. UN Women’s Gender Equality Timeline does just this. For all of our friends and colleagues around the world who work everyday on making the world a more equal and fair place for every gender, good change is happening – and it’s thanks to all of you.

AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade.  Transgenders celebrate with a cake after the Supreme Court's verdict recognizing third gender category, in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, 15 April, 2014.

AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade.
Transgenders celebrate with a cake after the Supreme Court’s verdict recognizing third gender category, in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, 15 April, 2014.

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Masculinities Mondays: 15th December 2014

After a great 16 Days Campaign (check out the previous posts if you missed it), Masculinities Mondays is back to its regular routine.

  • First up, an article from The Economist on men’s violence in Central America. Despite having the highest male murder rates in the world, new approaches to transform masculinities appear to be showing at least initial signs of reducing rates of violence.
  • Secondly, check out actor Terry Crews speaking out about feminism and masculinity. Crews explains,

“I want to be clear that feminism is not saying women are better than men. That’s not what’s going on…what it is is true gender equality.”

Now THAT’S what we’re talking about!

Have a great week, everyone!

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Source: The Economist

16 Days: Day 16

16dayslogo_arabic  Today, International Human Rights Day, also marks the end of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence. Far from signaling the end of work on this issue, however, today should be the start of a year ahead of asking uncomfortable questions, shifting attitudes, having difficult conversations and just generally trying to push the envelope even further on issues of violence against women, gendered power dynamics, and discrimination. This can be a daunting and disheartening task, no matter where in the world you are trying to work, but that’s all the more reason for those of us who are passionate about making the world a more peaceful place – those of you who read these posts over the last 16 days or participated in related activities – to share our knowledge, our lessons, and, most importantly, our positive stories.

It is with this in mind, that today we direct you to the freshly-launched site of What Works to Prevent Violence where you’ll find resources, news and examples of international best practice. Explore, learn, share, and keep the conversation going.

16 Days: Day 15

16dayslogo_korean Realized that the 16 Days of Activism is almost over and you feel like you haven’t participated enough? Wondering how you can join the conversation? Don’t fret! USAID ASSIST Project, Knowledge for Health (K4Health), The Asia Foundation, Promundo, Chemonics, World Vision and The TOPS Program have come together to host a tweetchat relay on December 10th to highlight different approaches and responses to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. Click here to find out how you can participate from 9am to 4pm EST on Wednesday the 10th of December.

16 Days: Day 14

16_days_logo_hindi   Improving access to information about sexual health and promoting positive messages about female sexuality help to create a culture of respect for women’s bodies and an understanding that consent is always critical. With this in mind, today we are celebrating the vagina with these great facts – enjoy and share what you’ve learned!

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Infographic courtesy of HB Health of Knightsbridge

16 Days: Day 13

16dayslogo_afrikaans  An old campaign but, unfortunately, still probably as true to today as it was four years ago when it first came out, this video by People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) examines community reluctance to intervene in situations of violence against women. In the same vein as Breakthrough’s Bell Bajao campaign in India, the POWA video aims to encourage neighbours to speak out and take an active stand against domestic violence:

Trigger warning: this video includes references to physical violence that may be triggering for people who have experienced abuse.

16 Days: Day 12

16dayslogo_estonian  Tonight I was watching Dirty Dancing and it occurred to me how rarely I’ve seen abortion referred to on screen and I came to the sad realisation that, had Dirty Dancing been made in this decade, it probably wouldn’t have passed the conservative censors. None of us would know the line “I carried a watermelon” nor have the image of the late Patrick Swayze lifting Jennifer Grey in a lake.

Abortion is a debate that, it seems, is always going to be divisive, with a lot of assumption and misunderstanding from both sides. For example, to say that people who are pro-choice are not pro-life is a misnomer – we are 100 pro women’s lives. State control over women’s bodies is inextricably linked to patriarchy and, according to the World Health Organisation, every year 47,000 women die from complications related to unsafe abortions – people who support the legalisation of abortion aim to save the lives of these women and the many more who are never reported.  Of course, though, this inevitably leads to a circular argument about when ‘life’ begins so, instead, we will leave you with a straight-forward article by Rebecca Traister  and an equally straight-forward article by Josh Brahm and let you come up with your own conclusions about how this debate may be relevant to the 16 Days of Activism on Gender-based Violence.