A launch event for the regional 16 Days of Activism campaign was held today (25 November) at Forth Valley College’s Falkirk campus where representatives from Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Councils raised their voices about how progress can be made to eradicate gender based violence at a local level.
16 Days of Activism is an international campaign that was launched in 1991 to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and will end on Human Rights Day (10 Dec).
"We can do a lot more."
Stirling Council’s Community Wellbeing and Housing Convener, Cllr Gerry McGarvey said: “It goes without saying that a lot of work still needs to be done to reach the goal of eliminating violence against women from our communities.
“From the upsetting news reports of lives being taken from women and girls, to the culture of casual sexism that permeates our society, we can do a lot more to counter violence against women and promote long term behavioural change to make our communities safer for all.
“The 16 Days of Activism campaign offers a chance for us to press the issue, and the campaign of events outlined by local partners offers a wide breadth of advice, support and information for those in need of protection and for those who want to contribute to the change needed by all.”
"An opportunity to focus minds"
The Council recently reaffirmed its commitment to White Ribbon Scotland’s national campaign to eliminate violence against women along with local partner organisations.
Stirling Council’s White Ribbon Champion, Cllr Martin Earl said: “The 16 Days of Activism campaign is an opportunity for us to focus minds throughout Stirling on the work that remains to be done in the ongoing effort to curb gender based violence.
“The energy and drive from partner organisations across Stirling and the wider Forth Valley is massively inspiring. I remain hopeful that through a combined effort of awareness and resource sharing, in addition to men stepping up to play their part, we can make society safer for women and girls.”
As part of the programme of events being held across the Forth Valley, Stirling Council is hosting Zero Tolerance’s Violence Unseen photography exhibition to mark the organisation’s 30th anniversary.
The exhibition from photographer, Alicia Bruce, shines a spotlight on forms of violence against women and girls which remain unrecognised by mainstream society. The exhibition is being hosted at Stirling Bus Station for the duration of the campaign from today until Saturday 10 December.
Alicia said: “I’m glad that Violence Unseen will be returning to Stirling Bus Station. Public visibility for these images and powerful statements could save women’s lives. Having the campaign in the bus station could reach women who need support the most and direct them to that support.
“With Christmas on the way, the current cost of living crisis and the World Cup happening, women are more at risk of gender based violence with stress levels and emotions running high – but there’s no excuse: if you see your mate, your colleague, dad, uncle glorifying violence against women please call them out. No man has the right.”