Support and promote the UN Secretary-General's call for a global ceasefire. A call for a ceasefire was also issued for violence in the home, noting that “for many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest: in their own homes”. COVID-19 has made this situation much worse.
- As an individual you can sign the petition to “silence the guns amidst the COVID-19 crisis” here.
- As an organisation, you can join the global ceasefire campaign: https://www.globalceasefire.org/
- Your organisation can also sign the “Open letter on COVID-19 and humanitarian disarmament”.
Promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 5 is focused on achieving gender equality. SDG 5.2 sets the goal of ending all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030. Circulate this Gender Snapshot 2020 Report and call for your government to enact or implement legislation on GBV.
Engage more men and youth in ending GBV! Circulate the IANSA “10 Things Men Can Do to End Violence Against Women” flyer. Join the White Ribbon Campaign, an international campaign that is working to change negative, outdated concepts of manhood. IANSA member Promundo, a global leader in engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality and preventing violence, has many useful resources that can be found here, including this report on “Understanding How to Engage Men in Gender Transformative Approaches to End Violence Against Women”.
The UN Beijing Platform for Action (1995) stated the principle of shared power and responsibility and argued that women’s concerns could only be addressed in partnership with men. While most men may never use or condone the use of violence, the simple fact is that men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of gender-based violence. Men are also more likely to be victims of gun violence. Men need to be engaged to reduce and prevent gender-based violence.
Ask community members to post a “We support Ending Violence Against Women and Girls” sign (option 1 or option 2) in their windows at home, in their shops and businesses. Bringing GBV out into the open and part of the public dialogue is an important step towards being able to take measures to address it.
Promote the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda with your government. Governments also need to be encouraged to support women’s engagement in all aspects of peacebuilding and to develop National Action Plans (NAPs). NAPs serve as a tool for governments to articulate priorities and implement the WPS at the national level. Advocate for the involvement of civil society in the development of these NAPs. This toolkit can provide lots of ideas.
Write, share information and educate others! Write an opinion piece for your local newspaper, or write a blog and post it on your website or Facebook. Participate in radio or TV interviews.
Some ideas of topics to write about:
- the impact of COVID-19 on GBV in your community,
- how firearms can facilitate or be used to perpetrate GBV,
- steps your local and national authorities should take to address GBV and small arms controls.
This publication can help generate ideas and advocacy ideas. The UN MOSAIC module on gender and small arms can also provide ideas to share. This UN publication discusses the impact of COVID-19 on women.
Plant trees for peace! Work with a local school, government office, or community group to plant trees along with the vision of future generations being able to sit under their shade in a community free of gun violence and gender-based violence. Invite the media to cover the activity! For inspiration, see what IANSA member Jamaican Violence Prevention Alliance did this year. Use the message developed by IANSA youth concerned about the nexus between armed conflict, climate change, and GBV here, including the “1 billion trees, not 1 billlion guns” logo they created.
Advocate for better firearms laws. Hold a meeting (in person or virtually) with a government official of your country (parliamentarian, mayor, assembly person, police chief, etc.) to advocate for laws, policies, and programs that are gender responsive and effective at addressing GBV. Use this handbook to help identify gaps in your national legislation and call for stronger controls on civil possession of firearms, strict licensing criteria, improved storage requirements and criminal sanctions that adequately reflect the severity of crimes committed with a firearm.
Involve youth and children! Provide a platform for children and teens to use their creative talents to imagine a world free of GBV. Organize an essay writing or video making competition for youth and children that focuses on the ceasefire theme. Have a drawing competition that lets youth people use their imaginations and their paintbrushes. Use the power of the internet and share on your website and on social media.
Visit the UNODA new website on youth for disarmament for more ideas and resources.
- Carry out an online photo campaign to promote ending violence against women and girls. Take a photo of yourself with this sign supporting an end to violence against women and girls.
- Help promote an understanding of the link between gun violence and gender norms by sharing this article on the topic by Ray Acheson of Reaching Critical Will.
- Hold a community talk or seminar on the topic of gender and gun violence. Useful information on the topic can be found in a module on gender and small arms produced by the International Small Arms Control Standard (now known as MOSAIC) here.