YPSA (Young Power in Social Action) observed “International Women Rights Defenders Day” marking the global 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls, which begins every year on 25 November and ends on 10 December- the day of the International Human Rights Day.
Upholding the global theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence `Orange the world: End violence against women now, a discussion meeting was hosted at YPSA head office to mark the day on 27 November 2021 highlighting the situation of women in Bangladesh, harassment against women and girls and the challenges that women have to bear. Several officials of YPSA including higher management and general member representative participated in the discussion.
The meeting began with a presentation on 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence `Orange the world: End violence against women now. Ms. Farhana Idris, Divisional Manager, combating early marriage in Bangladesh project presented some excellent slideshows on the background and significance of “International Women Rights Defenders Day” as well as `Orange the world: End violence against women now. Afterward, a concept note on the day was read by Ms. Mujdalifa Anjum, Monitoring Officer, Sukhi Jibon Project.
A brief talk among participants followed the session focusing on advocacy for inclusive, comprehensive, and sustainable strategies, promoting the leadership and rights of women, engaging generation equality forum commitment makers, and amplifying the success stories. Many female colleagues shared their personal experiences and incidents related to any sort of violence including discrimination, humiliation, and harassment in their homes or workplace as well as challenges they faced and overcome. How women are harassed is a widespread issue and even working women in high positions have experienced it at some point was also discussed. Contributing to the spirit of activism, the staff of YPSA also prepared colorful handmade festoons on 16 says activism.
On Closing remarks, Mr. Arifur Rahman, Chief Executive of YPSA stated that the tendency of gender discrimination, humiliation, and harassment is likely a little bit higher amongst educated people compared to the uneducated. This is because they do not notice or consider many things as gender discrimination, humiliation, and harassment for indifference on the issue. Gender-based violence can and must be prevented by believing survivors, adopting comprehensive and inclusive approaches, and empowering women and girls. He also emphasized on self-empowerment of women and girls for combating gender discrimination, humiliation, and harassment.
Ms. Lopa Chowdhury, Member of YPSA, Mr. Monjur Morshed Chowdhury, Director (Economic Development), Ms. Nasim Banu, Deputy Director (Social Development), Ms. Roksana Begum, Assistant Director, Mr. Gazi Mohammad Moinuddin, Manager (Human Resource), Ms. Shemosri Dey, Secretary of Chief Executive, Sanzida Akter, Project Coordinator, Proyash-II Project along with many other staffs of YPSA attended and participated the program.
Mentionable that, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.