The fearless women on the frontline
Today, violence will affect millions of women and girls around the world, violating their human rights and holding them back from reaching their full potential.
Violence against women is complex, but it is not inevitable. Fearless women leaders everywhere are working to end it – and they are getting results.
The groups these women lead make a huge difference on tiny budgets, and they know better than anyone what will work to turn the tide against violence in their communities. Yet funding for these groups has plummeted, with the percentage of gender equality funds going to them halving in the last five years alone. We must act, fast.
25 November marks the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence when, every year, women’s rights campaigners come together to demand an end to violence against women. To mark it, we’re helping raise these women’s voices to the highest level by asking the UK government to do more to support their life-changing work.
Stand with the fearless women ending violence: ask your MP to call on the government to do more to fund these life-changing groups.
Daw Su Sun Than helps survivors of domestic violence in Myanmar
Daw Su Sun Than works for a network combatting violence against women in Dala Township, one of the poorest areas of Yangon, Myanmar. The women’s network is entirely independent, and was set up by five of Daw Su Sun Than’s colleagues after ActionAid Myanmar trained them as paralegals.
But Daw Su Sun Than says the lack of resources makes things difficult. As a result, the women of the network often pay from their own pockets to help survivors who don’t have much money.
One girl they help was raped by her father, and the women of the network support her with counselling, and help her to look after her younger siblings. With her father in jail and her mother sick, she works to make enough money to look after them, but doesn’t always have enough. When they can, the women of the network give her small amounts of their own money to help support her family.
Daw Su Sun Than is hopeful for the future, and says "I hope to stop domestic violence against women, and to improve women’s healthcare."
"The most challenging thing for us is we don’t have funding. It’s difficult."
We’re calling on the government to increase funding for groups like Daw Su Sun Than’s. Email your MP now to join the campaign.
Why is violence against women and girls such a problem?
A third of all women and girls face violence in their lifetime. It's one of the most widespread violations of human rights, and it robs women of control over their bodies and lives. This doesn't just hold back the women it affects - it holds back their families and communities too. Women living in poverty and those facing other forms of discrimination are often at even greater risk.
How do we end violence against women?
Violence against women is preventable. Research shows the vital work of independent women's rights organisations is the single most effective way to create the real change that will bring down violence against women.1 These organisations are critical drivers of women's movements and wider social movements, with extensive knowledge and experience in ending gender discrimination and creating positive changes in women’s lives.
But their funding has plummeted in recent years, with the percentage of gender equality funds going to them halving in the last five years.
Our government can help change this. We’re calling on the UK government to dedicate an extra £70 million from the existing aid budget over the next three years, so that women’s rights organisations can keep doing their transformative work to end violence.
What can I do to end violence against women?
You can stand with the fearless women leading the struggle against gender-based violence, and show the Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, just how many thousands of us care strongly about this issue. Ask your MP to write to her about these fearless women’s groups now.
Have you been affected by violence?
If you or a woman you know is facing violence, you can get help by calling the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 – it’s free and open 24 hours. You can also visit their website below: