by MMW Senior Journalist Alinah Kallon
Media Matters for Women in collaboration with Rainbo Initiative, Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs launches 16 Days of Activism Campaign in Makeni, Bombali District. The 16 Days of Activism against all forms of violence against women and girls is an annual event from 25th November to 10 December. This campaign is celebrated every year by the government and gender partners to raise awareness of sexual and gender-based violence and engage key stakeholders and policymakers on issues affecting women and girls including women empowerment and sexual and gender-based violence.
This year, the celebration started with a street canvassing at the city center where partners engaged with traders and passersby to raise awareness about the significance of the 16 Days Campaign. Following the canvassing was a match pass to the City Council Hall where Media Matters for Women brought together key stakeholders from the local administration, gender activists, and children’s community to dialogue on issues mitigating the development and empowerment of women and girls. The intergenerational dialogue was based on frank discussions on issues affecting women and girls, especially in areas of education and development. Chiefs, police, human rights activists, judiciary, and the children’s community formed the panel.
To finalize the ceremony, Media Matters for Women also recognized the contribution of 10 community activists who have in various ways promoted the fight against gender-based violence in their communities by awarding their efforts and thanking them with a food basket. These community champions were nominated by the communities where they live and work. This year’s Awardees included school pupils, nurses, traditional birth attendants, businesswomen, and civil servants.
The event was concluded with an official launch of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign by the Sector Head of the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs and a skit by the Rainbo Initiative team.