The 16 Days of Activism is an annual and international campaign against gender-based violence. The campaign starts on 25th November which marks the ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) and continues to 10th December which is ‘Human Rights Day’.
Visuals for Gender commemorated the day by launching the ‘Data for Gender-Based Violence Advocacy Project’. This project is supported by the U.S Embassy Ghana and it is aimed at:
- Using data to advocate against gender-based violence.
- Training CSOs/NGOs and Journalists, in the use of simple tools for data visualization and telling data-driven stories, which will be useful in their advocacy work.
- Educating girls in Junior High Schools on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
- Training teachers with the requisite skills of dealing with sexual violence issues with regard to their students.
The Ambassador of the US to Ghana, Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan was the Guest Speaker for the occasion. Also present were the Deputy Comptroller General of the Ghana Immigration Service- Madam Judith Dzokoto, representatives from the Public Affairs Unit of the U.S Embassy Ghana, representatives from CSOs/NGOs, the Media and Heads and Teachers of some selected schools together with their students.
Florence Toffa (Director of Mobile Web Ghana) gave the welcome address. In her speech, she pointed out the importance of using data to champion the fight against gender-based violence in Ghana. She added
“Data is a very powerful tool to drive change, thus, influence government policies, educate citizens and influence citizen participation in the fight against gender-based violence. We have actively used data sets to tell data driven stories on gender-based violence, largely on our social media platforms”.
Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan gave her speech afterwards. She started by giving the negative consequence of gender-based violence among women and girls in the world. She mentioned that she is passionate about helping advocates, journalists and law enforcement agencies in the fight against gender-based violence. She also commended the team championing the “Visuals for Gender Project”. In relation to the focus of the launch- ‘Data for Gender-Based Violence Advocacy’, she added that: “Data helps connect the dots to create an evidence-based case that shines a light on this worldwide epidemic. This epidemic affects our most vulnerable – our girls”. Do find the transcript of her speech in this link
The next session of the program was a video screening of our success stories from testimonies of people we have trained in the past. These included CSOs/NGOs and Journalists who we have trained to use simple tools for data analysis and visualization and storytelling to help in their advocacy work. The video also showed teachers and students we have trained, share their experiences.
Madam Patience Quaye, former Commissioner of the Ghana Police Service led a presentation on visualized data sets on the national gender-based violence statistics recorded by the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit. The presentation gave an overview of reported cases on gender-based violence cases from a period of 2014-2018.
This sparked a discussion amongst the audience on the need for more effort to be put in championing the fight against gender-based violence in Ghana.
Ambassador Sullivan did the sod-cutting, to commemorate the launch of the ‘Data for Gender-Based Violence Advocacy Project’ which is spearheaded by Visuals for Gender.
The program ended with a group photo and a brief but worthwhile networking session.