JNCW, Shamaa Network organize national campaign for 16 days of activism against GBV

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, on 25 November 2018, UN Women, Senior Camp assistant, Rawan Majali commemorates the opening ceremony with her handprint pledge to show her support for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, in Za’atari refugee camp. (Photo: Flickr)
AMMAN — The international campaign “16 days of activism against gender-based violence (GBV)” kicked off in Jordan on November 25, as the Kingdom joined world countries in organizing advocacy, awareness, and mobilization campaigns led by the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) in collaboration with stakeholders and partners, namely the Shamaa Network to Combat Violence Against Women.اضافة اعلان

 “As part of the campaign, our teams work on developing sensitization material, mobilizing the media, and publishing papers and studies.  We launch the campaign with a press conference with the participation of the Network members and donors, and we end it with a closing ceremony attended by Princess Basma Bint Talal,” said Dania Al-Hajouj, the Women Protection Program coordinator and coordinator of the GBV Network at the JNCW.

The JNCW is developing 10 awareness-raising workshops in 10 governorates across the Kingdom on GBV, this year focusing on violence against women in political life, covering the religious and legal dimensions, as well as the social impact of women’s participation in political and public life and the challenges they face. 

Other workshops will tackle cyber violence and how women should react to incidents of cyber harassment.

The Shamaa network includes 102 members from public and private sector entities, civil society as well as human rights activists.

Each year, the network implements about 300 activities nationally, and the campaign themes are selected based on an inclusive consultative approach, covering awareness-raising videos, workshops, theatrical plays, conferences, murals, and publications, according to Hajouj.   

JNCW assists a number of low-budget partner organizations through funding some of their activities.

Public sector partners in the Shamaa network are the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and the General Iftaa Department, in addition to the Ministry of Social Development, which conducts its activities through the Family Protection Department.

UN Women, alongside other UN agencies, is taking part in the campaign — which runs until December 10 — as one of the partners in the UN Secretary General’s 2030 agenda to end violence against women, focusing in this year’s campaign on all forms of violence against women and girls.

“At the UN, we work with our partners on a broad scale and on all forms of violence against women, while in Jordan, we nationalize and contextualize the campaign based on the priorities and on the national context,” said Susan Al-Hilo, Advocacy and Youth officer at UN Women, who is leading the advocacy campaign of the 16 days of activism.

“It’s a very global campaign that anyone can take part in, individuals, journalists, youth, absolutely anyone,” said Hilo.  UN Women Jordan will be working with different organizations, sister agencies, civil society organizations, public and private entities, communities, and youth to ensure that the campaign is as inclusive as possible.  

“We are going to break the silence on the different forms of political violence so that more women and girls have equal rights to participate and lead in life without being subjected to any form of violence or being forced to act against their choice,” said Hilo.

While the campaigns target all segments of society, including men and women, each aspect of the campaign targets a specific group, such as political and religious leaders, youth, students, and various media channels.

“We do not only focus on women and ignore the other half of the society, because, at the end of the day, political violence affects women inside their households as well,” said Hajouj, providing incidents of when the men in the family force women to vote for a particular candidate, or when women are forbidden to run for elections or to have a political career.

(Photo: Jordan News)

“We have an evidence-based approach as we always try to have official data and key messages to podcast to the general public, based on the findings of studies carried out,” said Ghaida Al-Bitar, JNCW’s Protection against Violence project officer and member of the team working on the 16 days campaign. 

The 2019 campaign targeted the elimination of economic violence against women, while the 2020 study addressed domestic violence, said Bitar, pointing out that the choice of political violence this year was not made randomly, but because Jordan will soon hold municipal elections, “which signals the perfect timing to start working with the government to establish violence-free processes that encourage women to participate.”

Apart from GBV, the JNCW works on underage marriage and sexual harassment. The 2020 campaign, for example, focused on domestic violence in light of a study that found a 33 percent rise in cases of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

A December 2020 study that covered the Kingdom’s governorates targeted a sample of 287 women active in political and public life, the findings of which will be published during the campaign.  

64.9 percent of the women who participated in the study said they had been exposed to some form of violence at the workplace, while 90.4 percent of the women; those who work as local council members, parliamentarians, and ministers, or who hold senior positions in ministries, government entities, and municipalities, as well as women’s rights activities and social media influencers said they had been exposed to psychological violence.

69.2 percent have been subjected to threats and verbal abuse, and bullying, while 17.5 percent of the surveyed women said they were subjected to some sort of sexual violence or harassment, and 63.1 percent said they had been victims of cyber violence.

The JNCW is currently working on a study titled “Women’s Killings and the Decisions Made by Judges,” the findings of which will be published on December 6, during a national event related to femicide in Jordan.

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