» UNESCO Mobilizes Community Media to Promote 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence on the Airwaves ...
19.12.2016 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

UNESCO Mobilizes Community Media to Promote 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence on the Airwaves in West and Central Africa

©UNESCO/Maria Muñoz Blanco

In many societies, women – regardless of race, nationality, class or age – are victims of physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence, ad gender-based violence remains one of the main obstacle to the achievement of women’s and girl’s human rights. To address this ongoing obstacle, UNESCO has called attention to the responsibility that key actors have to eliminate gender-based violence. One of these actors is the media.

From 25 November to 10 December, the West and Central Africa Regional Gender Thematic Group (WCA-RGTG) of the United Nations organized the celebration of « 16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women » around the theme « From Peace in the House to Peace in the World: an Education for All », coordinated by the UNESCO Regional Office for West Africa (Sahel) in Dakar.

The global objective of the campaign that began on 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ran through 10 December, Human Rights Day, was to mobilize, through the media, state and non-state actors, populations and individuals around the world to take action to end all forms of violence against women and young girls.

The partner of the campaign, WADR, West Africa Democracy radio, a trans-territorial, sub-regional radio station based in Dakar, Senegal and with a network of more than 40 partner radios in 10 West African countries and a chain of correspondents in fourteen countries in the region, produced a total of 16 radio shows, with one radio show broadcast for each day of the campaign. Coordinated by UNESCO, the regional thematic group on gender shared their work on the ground addressing gender-based violence. The participating agencies described through the voice of experts of the United Nations and beneficiaries of the United Nations programs in West and Central Africa their actions in the field.

The themes addressed in the radio shows include sexual violence perpetrated in all impunity towards schoolchildren and young boys and girls, to vulnerability of young girls deprived of access to education in refugee camps and of displaced persons, the protection and the safety of women journalists, the essential role of women in peace negotiations, the establishment of peace, of diplomacy and of decision-making, and food security, among others.

The debates highlighted the need for national and regional reflection on the issues related to violence perpetrated against women, who, often, are victims of social pressure and stigmatization and thus further isolated from society and unable to actively participate in decision-making processes.

Through this campaign, the participating agencies of the United Nations (FAO, OHCHR, OCHA, IOM, UNAIDS, UNDG, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNODC, UN Women, and WFP) advocated for governments, state actors, and civil society to respect their commitments to end violence against women and young girls. The aim of the 16 days of activism was to carry out a major action of awareness-raising and mobilize populations on the issue of violence against women and young girls in the communities and at local level, with the voices of beneficiaries of UN programs on the ground highlighting continued need for work in this domain.

To listen to the radio shows, please follow the links below

In French:

25 novembre: lancement de la Campagne des 16 jours d’activisme :


26 novembre: éducation et justice pour tous les genres : conséquences de la discrimination structurelle à l’encontre des femmes et des filles


27 novembre : femmes paix et la résolution de conflits


29 novembre : femmes et sécurité alimentaire


30 novembre : violences commises par les acteurs étatiques et non étatiques, dans les écoles et autres lieux affectant le droit à l’éducation


1er décembre : journée mondiale lutte contre le Sida


2 décembre : dénégation de l’éducation aux filles stigmatisées parce qu’elles ont subi des violences sexuelles (VBG et échec scolaire)


3 décembre : violences, santé maternelle et coût économique des violences


4 décembre : VBG et handicap


5 décembre : présence de forces de police militarisées au sein des institutions sociales


6 décembre : agressions sexuelles dans les lieux scolaires


7 décembre : violence sexuelle perpétrée en toute impunité à l’égard d’écoliers et de jeunes gens


8 décembre : vulnérabilité des filles et des garçons, des jeunes femmes et hommes privés d’accès à une éducation dans les camps de réfugiés et de personnes déplacées


9 décembre: Plan d’Action des Nations Unies sur la sécurité des journalistes et la question de l’impunité, les journalistes femmes et la VBG sur le terrain


10 décembre : Journée des droits de l’homme avec un focus sur les droits de la femme


In English:

28th November 2016: Interview with Veronic Wright, Senior Regional Legal Adviser, UNODC


30th November Interview with Jennifer Hofmann, Education Specialist Learning for Peace, UNICEF:


5th December: Interview with Francesca Bonomo, Education in Emergencies Specialist, UNICEF West and Central Africa Office (WCARO)/


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