Introduction to 2019 Blogathon
Welcome to our annual blogathon to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. We are now in our third year of bringing together some of the most important voices from civil society, academia and government around the world. Once again, the blogathon marks a collaboration between GenderEd at the University of Edinburgh, the Australian Human Rights Institute at UNSW Sydney and Ambedkar University, Delhi.
From refugee policies putting women in danger of gender-based violence to the undermining of women’s reproductive rights at the UN, to the Counting Dead Women projects (such as in Australia, the UK and in the US), there is much to suggest that the world is as grim a place as ever for women, girls and their rights. As UN Women note,
“Violence against women is the leading cause of death and disability of women no matter their age”.
Along with the writers whose work you will read over the coming days, and the more than 6,000 organisations who run 16 Days campaigns every year, we are united in our commitment to women’s equality and share a desire to see a world free from sexual and gender-based violence.
From Monday 25 November 2019 (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day), we will be posting blogs that explore some of the most pressing issues in gender-based violence. Our remarkable contributors look at the many ways in which gender-based violence interacts with health, trans identities, migration, sexualities and disabilities. They write about political rhetoric that invokes gender-based violence, and the promises and limits of legal systems. They write narratives and poetry, and explore the potential of thread and comic books to tell different stories – or to tell stories differently.
Through their blogs, we travel from Scotland to Myanmar, and from the Pacific to South Africa via India and beyond. We see how gender-based violence exists in all spheres – from past to emerging and ongoing conflicts, in houses and on university campuses, and in the smallest of villages to the largest of cities. It affects women and girls of all ages, of all backgrounds, from all places.
We couldn’t have asked for a better person to open our 2019 blogathon than Eve Ensler – best-selling author, playwright, anti-violence activist, and initiator of V-Day and 1 Billion Rising. In her powerful blog, Eve reflects on the crafting of her 2019 book The Apology, in which she wrote the apology that she knew she would never receive from her abuser: her father. For our first blog of the year, we are therefore delighted to introduce Eve Ensler’s piece, ‘My father never apologized for sexually abusing me. So I wrote his apology for him’ (reposted with kind permission from NBC News).
Signed, Co-curators of the 16 Days blogathon
- Fiona Mackay, Director genderED, University of Edinburgh
- Louise Chappell, Director Australian Human Rights Institute, University of New South Wales
- Rukmini Sen, Director Center for Publishing, Ambedkar University Delhi
- Caitlin Hamilton, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Australian Human Rights Institute, University of New South Wales
- Natasha Dyer, PhD candidate, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh