Anglicans worldwide join 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence


Anglicans around the world are joining together in the 16 Days of Activism movement against gender-based violence.

The global initiative got underway on Sunday, which marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and will run until Human Rights Day on December 10.

16 Days is an initiative of The Center for Women's Global Leadership and has been held each year since 1991 with the aim of unifying people around the world in ending gender-based violence.

Gender-based violence can take on many forms, including forced marriages, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, sex-selective abortion and female genital mutilation.

The Anglican Communion is one of over 6,000 organisations in 187 countries taking part in 16 Days and during the campaign period, Anglican churches will be reflecting on the issue of gender-based violence and what action they can take to stamp it out.

The Anglican Communion's Director for Women in Church & Society, the Rev Canon Terrie Robinson, said: 'The 16 Days of Activism give a focus for civil society, governments, churches and all people of faith to take seriously the transformative work needed to eliminate violence and support victims and survivors.

'They give us a space where we can reflect on the metanoia [change of heart] we are all called to as we put on Christ and turn away from harmful attitudes and behaviours that get in the way of the light.'

Rachel Tavernor, of faith-based gender justice movement Side by Side, said that people of faith have a 'potentially transformative role' to play in achieving gender justice.

Tavernor, who took part in a gender justice service at Glasgow Cathedral on Sunday, said it was vital that people work to end gender-based violence in their own communities.

'Lasting change happens when it is created and sustained by people, such as faith leaders, who are embedded within communities,' she said. 

She added: 'Around the world, people of faith are becoming change-makers within their communities. They continue to march for gender justice and I am honoured to be marching alongside them, even though we know that the road to gender justice is long.'

The Mothers' Union is also taking part in 16 Days and has created resources to help churches participate in the campaign. More information can also be found at the 16 Days website