16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge gender-based violence.
UNFPA Kenya, in collaboration with UNHCR, implementing partners and the refugee community in Kakuma and Kalobeyei refugee camps, will use the platform provided by this year’s 16 Days of Activism to create awareness and mobilize communities in Kakuma and Kalobeyei (Turkana West Sub-County) against GBV under the theme: ‘End Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work’. The main event of the celebrations will be a marathon dubbed “Kakuma-Kalobeyei Community Run to End Gender Based Violence”
The initiative targets to create awareness among agencies and refugee workers on their responsibility and obligations for creating safe work spaces, including Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) as a form of GBV.
“UNFPA responds to vulnerability generated by humanitarian situations to ensure adequate and sustainable access to reproductive health services and protection against violations founded on gender inequalities. This years’ 16 Days Of Activism is for us to amplify efforts that we have made in collaboration with our partners to eliminate gender based violence as a desecration of human dignity and impediment to realization of sexual and reproductive health rights” read a statement by UNFPA’s Country Representative Dr. Ademola Olajide, ahead of the slated activities.
Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) as a form of GBV can lead to discrimination and exclusion of especially women and girls from work places, denying them opportunity for economic empowerment which deepens their vulnerability to further abuse. Organizations whose staff are implicated in work place related forms of GBV are exposed to reputation risks and legal sanctions that could dissuade donors. Individual staff themselves risk loss of employment and litigation.
GBV in its various forms occasions emotional and physical trauma, unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, pregnancy complications and sexually transmitted infections (STI), including HIV.