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Oxfam India marks "16 Days of Activism"

Oxfam India marks "16 Days of Activism"

In an effort to create conversations around violence against women and girls and move towards a future where violence against women and girls is eliminated, the UN Women created the concept of 16 Days of Activism. Every year the 16 days starts from 25th November- the International Day for the elimination of violence against women, to 10th December- Human Rights Day. These days are used by activists worldwide as a clarion call against gender-based violence.

16 days of activism
Oxfam India with its partner organizations and networks marks the '16 Days of Activism’ with a rise of frontline and active campaigning. A multi-pronged campaign on breaking the silence on violence at homes is spread over these 16 Days across the states of Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand.
16 days of Activism
This year, Oxfam India's Gender Justice "Bano Nayi Soch" (BNS) campaign focuses on domestic violence with a positive theme as #PyaarMeinVaarNahi meaning “Love is violence-free”. For these 16 days’ various activities, events, festivals are being organized to mobilize youth to join the campaign and gain knowledge and skills to become future BNS campaign champions. We want these champions to lead the way, demonstrate by breaking social norms and work behind the scenes.  These will ultimately help bring change in mindsets and society towards gender issues.
16 days of activism
The Youth Festival in Lucknow was conceptualized and executed by our BNS Champions. They expressed their ideas on #PyarMeinVaarNahi through poems and creative writing. With our partners and alliances, we organized a cycle rally on 20th November in Siwan, Bihar; protests and debates on #MeToo on 24th November in Rajiv Chowk, Delhi where men and boys showed their support for #MeToo movement and 25th November in Odisha and a Gender Justice Fair on 28th November in Kisan Inter-College, Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.
16days of activism 16days of activism
An alliance meeting on 27th November in Odisha also saw the conversations around #PyarMeinVaarNahi. National Media Conclave on 22nd November led the conversations on gender issues where 200 media studies students, practising journalists, media academics participated from across the country. 

Many more interactions and events were planned for these 16 days within colleges/universities and the communities that we work within the states we work in with the idea of inspiring many young people to become BNS Champions. Below are excerpts from some of the events we organized across different states.

Azamgarh- Event on women empowerment
16 days of activism
“It is all about giving equal opportunities to women which is a prerequisite for women empowerment. Change in mindset is absolutely necessary and we all have to work together for it,” said Shabana Azmi, noted cine artist and social activist while addressing the audience at Oxfam’s gender event in Azamgarh.  
16 days of acitivism
On 1st November 2018, the event “Challenges of women empowerment" was organized at Azamgarh before the start of the 16 Days of Activism. Students from five colleges and educational institutions participated in cultural programs and dialogues around gender issues. The students from Kaifi Azmi Inter College presented a beautiful dance on the famous poem “Aurat” that was written by Kaifi Azmi and folk dance and music performance by Indian People Theater Association. Oxfam India's partner organization Sri Ramanand Saraswati Pustakalaya (SRSP) of girls sang songs on gender issues "Azadia hamka bhavela”, “Is gaon ki kahabr” etc being few of them. More than 500 people participated in the event. 

Bihar- Youth Festival
16 days of activism
On 20th November 2018, a youth festival program was organized in Basantpur block, Bihar along with partner organization Sakhiree Mahila Vikas Sansthan (SMVM). More than 1,000 young people from 20 villages participated in a bicycle rally with slogans on domestic violence, early and child marriage and gender equality.
16 days of activism 16 days of activism
Youngsters also participated in the competitions for speech, painting, singing and dancing themed around Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG) and Violence & Child Early and Forced Marriage(CEFM). 

Jharkhand- Youth Festival
On 25th November 2018, a youth program was organized in the Middle School, district Koderma, Jharkhand in collaboration with partner SMVM of Jumav Manch network. The programme had cultural activities organized by youth groups along with a speech, painting and essay competition on the topic the main theme #PyarMainVaarNahi. Around 700 young boys and girls participated.

Lucknow-Youth Festival
During our youth event on 26th November 2018 in Lucknow, we conducted competitions on poem writing and creative writing on the theme of #PyarMeinVarNahin along with other competitions to mobilize people on generating awareness on gender issues. Students expressed their views and with creativity and inspirational poems and stories. See below.
16 days of activism16 days of activism

Muzaffarnagar-Youth Festival
16 days of activism
Our Gender partner Astitva organized a “Gender Justice Fair’ on 28th November 2018. It was organized at Kisaan Inter College, Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.
16 days of activism
The objective of the fair was to generate awareness and have a dialogue with the youth about gender-based violence and discrimination. Around 350 youth participated in the fair.

BNS Champions
In December, Oxfam India organized youth festival in Ranchi, Bhubaneswar and Odisha were the BNS champions expressed their action through cultural activities.

Oxfam India will continue to organize such events to mobilize youth on gender issues and change social norms. Through its Gender Justice program, Oxfam India aims to empower women, create spaces for them to express their views, spread awareness about gender issues, change gender norms through various events and workshops and fight stand violence.

Gender Justice

We campaign to change patriarchal mindsets that influence violence against women  

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