INERELA+ Commemorate of 16 Days of Activism: Religious Leaders Solidarity Campaign to End CEFMU, GBV

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that aims to put an end to the violence that women and children face daily. This campaign is a call to action that unites individuals and organizations across the globe in the fight against gender-based violence. According to the UNFPA, the East and Southern Africa region has high rates of sexual violence against women and girls.

To commemorate this significant period, between 25 November and 10 December 2023, the six (6) INERELA+ country networks (Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Rwanda, and Tanzania), organized a range of activities in their respective countries. These activities were designed to raise awareness about the importance of ending gender-based violence against children and to encourage actions amongst religious leaders, religious communities, and the communities at large.

Young people in Rwanda, Kigali Celebrating 16 days of activism, 8 December 2024

INERELA+ Rwanda has been working to combat Gender-based Violence in Kigali, Through community mobilization activities, the network raised awareness about GBV and promoted children’s rights. The mobilization took place on the 08th of December 2023 to raise awareness on the abuse of women and children.

INERELA+ Rwanda celebrates 16 days of activism, 07 December 2023

INERELA+ Tanzania gathered participants, including children, traditional leaders, and faith leaders. The event highlighted gender-based violence in the community, such as early child marriages, rape, and physical and emotional abuse. They also drew their attention to the fact that children are gifts from God and that most girls if given access and opportunity to education will become everything a father will want from a male child.

In Zambia, the network participated in the national launch of the 16 days of activism with other partners such as the Zambia Ministry of Justice, Gender Division under the office of the President, FHI 360, USAIDS, and other local NGOs. During the launch of the 2023 Campaign with the theme  “Unite: Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls”, the INERELA+ Zambia Staff members and the trained religious leaders shared IEC materials on how to end CEFMU & GBV against children, particularly the girl child.

INERELA+ Botswana celebrates 16 days of Activism, 5 December 2023

On the 5th of December 2023, INERELA+ Botswana organized a campaign activity designed to incite conversations and reflection on various forms of gender-based violence and methods to combat it. The purpose of these actions was to build healthy and respectful mindsets among young learners, and future leaders.  The country network also participated and shared IEC materials during the launch of the 16 days of activism in Gaborone.

INERELA+ South Africa Held a Congregation Session to Raise Awareness of GBV, on 06 December 2023

In South Africa, Soweto, INERELA+ South Africa through a community congregational session gathered participants including congregants’ members, community members, and other religious leaders to raise awareness on gender-based violence against children in township communities such as rape, and physical abuse of children, to reach out as many people the campaign was also televised on the local Soweto TV.

In Malawi religious leaders from both the Christian and Islam faith communities celebrated the 16 days of activism through a series of interactive discussion sessions and education sessions in Lilongwe focused on reducing violence against children. The activities highlight the need for change in traditional practices and the importance of empowering women and girls. In also this country network, IEC materials were used to educate the participants and the public about celebrating and protecting children’s rights.

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