ARDD Legal Aid is supporting the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.
Women face extensive barriers in accessing justice in Jordan, ranging from inability to afford legal counsel or pay fees to file a case in court to the social stigma imposed on women by their communities. Early in its establishment ARDD-Legal Aid identified that most of the women in their community lacked basic knowledge about the law and their rights. The knowledge gap on legal rights goes beyond just vulnerable women and includes a significant percent of the population in Jordan.
November 25 – the International day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, marks the starting point of the international campaign ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence’. The campaign, widely known as the ‘16 Days of Activism’, will come to an end on International Human Rights day, December 10. The campaign’s origin goes back to the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991. Every following year, November 25 to December 10 has been marked by organizations and individuals around the world as the ’16 Days of Activism’ to raise international awareness about GBV as a human rights violation and to find solutions and ways to eliminate GBV. As much as one would wish that the issue of preventing violence against women and girls would and should be overcome, this campaign is just as important today as ever. Let’s use this opportunity to speak up and take collective action to eliminate GBV!
In support for the campaign, the United Nations Secretary-General’s campaign ‘UNiTE to end Violence against Women’ calls for international action to increase awareness and open for discussion about challenges and possible solutions. In 2015 UNiTE called on the world to “Orange the world” - to cast light on and draw attention to the campaign, as the orange colour represents the brighter future of women free from violence. However, despite the international community’s visible interest and the political will to end GBV, one of the major challenges is the lack of sufficient funding for projects and initiatives to prevent GBV. This is why the UNiTE in 2016 is calling on the world to “Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence Against Women”. This is an attempt to mobilize resources to ensure funding for the important and committed work done to prevent GBV once and for all.
The campaign’s message is clear: violence against women is a human rights violation! It is also a consequence of gender discrimination, in law or in practice, and it’s further persisting gender inequalities and thus preventing other human rights to be upheld. The work to eliminate GBV is an ongoing process that will not end at the 10th of December. It rather needs a long term perspective, considering how people are educated and think about the issue. At ARDD Legal Aid, as a civil society organisation working to empower marginalised groups to acquire and enjoy their universal rights and freedoms, we are more than happy to take part in this important campaign as a part of our ongoing broader work to secure access to justice for all. The renaissance cannot be achieved without women’s access to justice. One of the practical implementations by ARDD-Legal Aid to empower women is ‘Women’s Access to Justice (WAJ) Phase II’. Women’s Access to Justice (WAJ) Phase II is a regional project implemented in partnership with Oxfam and funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. The project’s aim is to reduce the vulnerability and suffering of disadvantaged women by building on their human capital, facilitating their access to the legal system and securing just outcomes.