The campaign runs from Nov. 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to Dec. 10 (International Human Rights Day).
The dates symbolically link violence against women with the issue of human rights, and emphasize that such violence is a human rights violation.
“16 Days” is an international campaign originating from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute sponsored in 1991 by the Center for Women's Global Leadership, which is based at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.
This year, the campaign theme is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!”
Announcing the theme, the center explained that the “culture of militarism builds on and protects systems of power by controlling dissent and using violence to settle economic, political and social disputes. Militarism draws on and perpetuates patriarchal models of political, economic, and social domination of people by a small number of elites and privileges violent masculinity as acceptable behavior.”
Three priority areas identified for the 2014 campaign are: violence perpetrated by state actors; proliferation of small arms in cases of intimate partner violence, and sexual violence during and after conflict.
Although women are affected by such issues as partner violence and warfare, the WACC-led Global Media Monitoring Project, which is conducted every five years, finds that they are broadly underrepresented in news stories.
The 2010 GMMP, which surveyed media in 108 countries, found that in stories about peace, negotiations and treaties, women comprise 21% of news subjects, 18% in stories about war, terrorism and state-based violence, and 13% in stories about national defence, military spending and internal security.
These statistics then suggest structural patriarchal underpinnings in news media practice that render the experiences, opinions and aspirations of women less visible in news content.
WACC and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)recommended four ways in which the news media can apply a gender lens in reporting on peace and security, in order to contribute to ending violence against women. These reporting guidelines can be found in the Learning Resource Kit for Gender-Ethical Journalism, produced in 2012 by WACC and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ):