On International Women’s Day, March 8th 2013, Soroptimist International clubs around the world took part in a global day of action to call for an end to violence against women. From Pakistan to the Philippines, the Netherlands to Nepal, Soroptimists took to the streets, radio stations and the internet to raise awareness in their communities and around the world.
In December 2012, the world was shocked by the horrific rape and murder of a student in Delhi, India. Other cases of violence against women and girls started making the news; finally the world seemed to be waking up to this terrible epidemic, affecting 1 in 3 women worldwide. Campaigning and raising awareness around gender-violence was nothing new to Soroptimists, but the world finally seemed to be taking notice and SI was determined that this momentum should not be lost.
A Soroptimist from Pakistan, Talat Pasha of SI Karachi Central, called on Soroptimists worldwide to speak out on violence against women and girls on International Women’s day.
Millions of women are facing increasing levels of violence just for basic human rights. Unfortunately in some countries, it is now a fight for survival. Violence against women has become uncontrolled and is touching alarming proportions. It is time for us to stand united to raise our voices against this violence.”
This was particularly apt as March 8 fell during the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, also focussing on violence against women. SI decided to encourage clubs worldwide to take part in a global day of action, with the theme Enough is Enough: End Violence Against Women.
The aims of the Enough is Enough campaign were to:
- encourage and assist clubs to organise events to raise awareness of violence against women in their communities,
- maintain pressure on Governments to act at CSW,
- highlight the fact that SI acts locally and thinks globally, via a wave of local/regional events with a common theme.
The event was promoted via Federations, Global Voice, the SI website and social media, with an impassioned call to action from Talat Pasha, domestic violence survivor and author Leslie Morgan Steiner’s endorsement of the campaign, a Facebook event page and articles on the International Women’s day and Say No To Violence websites.
A series of Enough is Enough resources were provided to assist with organising local events, including a “how-to guide”, background information on violence against women, a series of case studies of women affected by gender-violence worldwide and placards.
Well over 1000 Soroptimists and supporters in at least 15 countries, representing all 4 Soroptimist Federations, took action in their communities. You can see pictures of many of them in the slideshow below.
The campaign also reached many more people through social media.
- We reached well over 10,000 people through Facebook, with one post alone reaching 7535 Facebook users.
- One of our IWD updates on Twitter was “retweeted” by UN Women and UN CSW, with a potential audience of over 200,000
- 224 people used the Facebook event to indicated that they would be participating in the event
- Photos of Enough is Enough events on Flickr were viewed 10715 times.