16 Ways For These 16 Days (And Beyond) To End Violence Against Women

During these 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, take some time out to think about these 16 ways in which we can tackle violence in our daily lives. If violence is taking place all around us in so many forms, then why not start here and now?

1. Listen

If history has shown us anything, it is that everyone else claims to know more about women, than women themselves. If you really want to know what women are trying to say, stop yapping about it and just listen! 

2. Surprise! You’re Not The Centre Of The Universe

Since we live in a patriarchal society, men are often made to believe that they are the centre of the universe. If even for a moment, we could all stop thinking like this, it would be a lot easier to understand women’s agency and freedom.

3. Reflect

Sometimes, people won’t like you back. And that’s okay. So instead of being destructive, and throwing tantrums about getting rejected, it’s good to sit back, relax and reflect. Give yourself the time you need to move forward from it.   

4. Repeat After Me: No Means No

And say it again! It’s no secret that women’s agency and consent is still not understood and acknowledged. Not understanding consent has led to widespread sexual violence and abuse against women, and it is high time that men learn that NO MEANS NO!

5. It’s Not Dokha; It’s You

This is so important, we have to put it here twice! It’s common to fear betrayal (dhokha) but what a lot of men fail to realise is that the emotions of resentment that this fear brings are a byproduct of entitlement, that comes from patriarchy, which for ages has had some sort of control over women’s bodies and sexuality.

6. Stop Talking

Stalking is a very serious problem that women face which makes public and cyberspaces unsafe for them and restricts their mobility. If men stop obsessing over where women are going and who they are talking with, it’ll be one less thing women have to worry about. Also, for those who did not know, Stalking is illegal!

7. Do Not Define Women By The Men Around Them

It is very common practice for women to be defined as someone’s wife, sister, mother, and so on. Men are still placed at the centre of women’s identities instead of their own achievements. 

8. Find Better Role Models

There is way too much testosterone-driven masculinity (*cough* Kabir Singh *cough*) in popular culture that appropriates violent behaviour. So, let’s broaden our horizons and find better people to look up to and learn something from.

9. Don’t Mansplain

10. Take Responsibility For Your Actions

Allegations of violence against women are often met with defensive behaviour and shifting blame. Blaming alcohol or other circumstances for any kind of violence actually justifies the perpetrators and misplaces the conversation

11. Think Of Better Jokes

Inappropriate humour, especially at the workplace that stereotypes people’s identities and bodies are not funny, but hurtful. Verbal abuse and harassment are also forms of violence that many people, especially women, and gender-nonconforming people, face regularly. Instead of saying “Just Kidding”, just think of better jokes.

12. Believe

Women’s accounts of facing various forms of violence have been and still is discredited and dismissed across the globe. It is very crucial that we BELIEVE them if we ever want to eliminate all violence against women.

13. End Victim Blaming

Blaming survivors of violence for what they go through, is very often, the first response. Women are not asking for it and saying so only perpetuates an endless cycle of violence.

14. Do Not Expect A Medal

The expectation of gender-sensitive behaviour is so low, that whenever a man does the bare minimum (like not being violent, sharing work at home or just not objectifying women), they feel the need to be applauded and praised. So how about, after following all these steps, don’t ruin it and just sit down!

15. Take A Stand

Violence against women perpetuates because people don’t speak up against it enough. From language to microaggressions, acts of violence go unchallenged in all our lives. So, calling out what’s wrong is essential.

16. Don’t Stop Here

Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below