2017 was a turning point in the fight against violence against women, and the subject of sexual harassment, sexual abuse and other forms of violence finally made their way to center stage, thanks to the courageous stories of millions of women. Following the #MeToo movement, #TimesUp emerged in 2018, shedding a light on the limited financial support and under-staffed services for women survivors of violence and inciting action. Now, on International Women’s Day, we say we must keep going, in order to make positive changes and work to put an end to all forms of violence against women.
How can you play your part? Here is just a sampling of 8 concrete ways around the world:
Around the world:
Time's Up, which launched in January 2018 following the #MeToo movement has united voices to fight sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. From the Golden Globes, to the César Award, to the Oscars, the message is only gaining momentum.
To support the organizations working on the topic, the movement enlisted the help of the National Women's Law Center to lead the "Time's Up Legal Defense Fund". The UK quickly took action as well, with actress Emma Watson and more than 200 women from the British film industry launching their own “Justice and Equality Fund”. Both funds seek to strengthen the work of organizations on the ground, in order to bring about a deep change in mentalities and to significantly influence governments to implement stronger regulations to protect the victims of violence.
You can donate to these funds to help make a difference in the lives of millions of victims and support the organizations that work with them on a daily basis.
EndFGM is a European network aiming to put an end to female genital mutilation around the world, but also to share best practices among health professionals.
As part of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on February 6, 2018, the network launched a digital campaign to highlight the impact of this archaic practice that has made at least 200 million victims worldwide. When a girl or a woman is cut, the rights of every single women are challenged. They become the subject of a violent form of discrimination simply because they were born as girls and lose not only their fundamental rights to have control over their own bodies but also their dignities. Spread the word by participating in the campaign and help put an end to this brutal practice.
Today, Make.org kick-starts its national consultations in the United Kingdom and Italy to combat violence against women. The online platforms aim to raise awareness by inviting users to submit proposals and vote on others that will support women survivors and change behaviors.
In France, Make.org also presents the 8 concrete actions that will be implemented in the next 2 years. This step follows a 2 month online consultation which mobilized more than 400,000 participants to vote and received more than 4,300 proposals.
Imkaan is an organization that aims to help and empower young women victims of violence and ethnic minorities on a local, national and international level.
These communities are more likely to be subject to many forms of violence such as female genital mutilation, forced marriage and honor killings. Imkaan steps in to train companies and individuals to teach them how to listen and react to women survivors in need of support.
France Télévisions Group, with the support of the Kering Foundation, and 9 other corporate Foundations, presents "ELLES ont toutes une histoire", a series of short documentaries highlighting the “feminine future” through the spontaneous and unfiltered testimonies of 11 girls between 9 and 18 years old.
From March 5th to 15th, on the production company Imagissime’s YouTube channel*, watch these young women speak about issues including gender equality, access to sexual and reproductive health, respect and many more. This season highlights how these young women see life and the new territories they have yet to conquer.
Find the episodes here.
*For French speakers, the series will be broadcast on all France Television Group channels and platforms, as well as on Franceinfo and TV5Monde.
The Birmingham & Solihull Women's Aid is an organization for women and children victims or witnesses of violence. With a helpline and emergency shelters, women are welcomed and have the ability to consult a doctor, a psychologist or receive legal advice. In 2017, Birmingham & Solihull Women's Aid supported 7,019 women and 4,135 children.
Celebrate March 8 by organizing an event with a “P” theme: wear your purple pajamas, eat pizzas or pretzels and pay tribute to the victims and to the heroes who are fighting against violence on a daily basis.
In the Americas:
Callisto is an innovative, non-profit organization that has implemented a technological tool for victims of harassment or sexual assault on US campuses. This allows female students to file a complaint digitally in their own environment, without any judgment. 1 in 5 young women are victims of sexual assault on American campuses and the process of filing a complaint can be emotionally demanding for victims. Besides offering a digital filing alternative, Callisto provides an interactive map to educate American students on the measures taken against harassment and sexual assault by the universities in which they study.
Learn more here.
Starfish Project is a social enterprise that offers the opportunity for women coming out of human trafficking to return to Chinese society by employing them. Through an holistic program, Starfish provides shelters, counseling and professional training focused on jewelry design, which allows women to develop skills in different areas.
Discover the journey of those extraordinary women who not only had the courage to share their stories, but also the strength to stand up and rebuild their lives with the help of Starfish Project.
How did you celebrate March 8th this year? Let us know on Twitter @KeringForWomen and spread the word to help stop against violence against women!