gender-based violence 16 days of activism

Leeds is taking a bold stand against gender-based violence by participating in the 16 Days of Activism campaign. The city is lighting landmarks in orange, partnering with safety apps, and organizing events like the White Ribbon parkrun and the Reclaim the Night march to promote women’s safety and engage the community in the fight against violence.

What is Leeds doing to combat gender-based violence during the 16 Days of Activism campaign?

Leeds is taking a stand against gender-based violence by lighting landmarks in orange and promoting safety initiatives such as partnerships with the WalkSafe App and establishing ‘safe spaces’ for women. The city engages the public with activities like the White Ribbon parkrun and the Reclaim the Night march, encouraging men to pledge against violence and advocating for women’s safety.

A United Front Against Gender-Based Violence

Leeds, a city known for its vibrant culture and community spirit, is taking a stand against gender-based violence by participating in the 16 Days of Activism campaign. This international event commences annually on November 25th, aligning with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and concludes on December 10th, coinciding with International Human Rights Day. The campaign aims to bridge the gap between gender-based violence and human rights issues.

The city’s involvement signals a firm commitment to public safety and support for women and girls. Important landmarks across Leeds will be bathed in orange light on November 25th. UN Women encourages this act to symbolize a future devoid of violence against women and girls. It’s a symbol that Leeds takes to heart, as the city council holds a White Ribbon accreditation, showcasing their dedication to this cause.

Leeds isn’t just about making symbolic gestures; it’s about action. Various initiatives, including partnerships with safety apps and the establishment of ‘safe spaces’ for women, fortify the city’s stance. The city council, alongside charities and the third sector, has launched several safety initiatives, including collaborations with the WalkSafe App, which promotes safe walking and identifies registered ‘safe spaces’ for women.

Engaging the Community

Engaging the public is vital, and Leeds is doing just that by encouraging participation in White Ribbon Day and the 16 Days of Activism. White Ribbon Day, falling on November 25th, is particularly poignant. It encourages especially men to pledge to never “use, excuse or remain silent” about violence against women. It’s a promise that resonates throughout the campaign, emphasizing the role men play in advocating for the safety and respect of women.

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for resources with responsibility for Safer Leeds, articulated the city’s ethos, stating, “Every single woman and girl in Leeds deserves to feel safe and be safe in our city. We’re proud to have White Ribbon accreditation, and it is so important that as many men as possible become allies to say that they will not stand by and accept violence against women and girls.”

To galvanize community involvement, Leeds offers a variety of activities. On November 25th, the Woodhouse Moor parkrun becomes a platform for advocacy as it dons a White Ribbon theme. Participants can expect to receive ribbons and educational materials, all while enjoying the community spirit and perhaps a slice of cake. The event highlights the need for women to feel safe while running or exercising, an issue that resonates deeply in today’s society.

Rallying for Safety and Solidarity

As the sun sets earlier and the nights grow longer, the issue of nighttime safety becomes more pressing. The Reclaim the Night march, reintroduced on November 30th, is a powerful response to this concern. Leeds, with its historical roots in the movement, takes to the streets as the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Al Garthwaite, leads the way. The march is a declaration that women have the right to feel safe at all hours.

The march begins at the iconic Town Hall steps at 6 pm, with the procession setting off at 6:30 pm. It is a physical and symbolic journey through the city’s arteries, culminating back at its starting point. It’s a clear message to the community and beyond that violence and intimidation have no place in Leeds.

Councillor Julie Heselwood echoed these sentiments, saying, “The Reclaim the Night movement has its roots in Leeds, and it’s an important annual march to demonstrate that women need and deserve to feel safe in our city any time of the day or night.”

Furthermore, local events and activities during the 16 days beckon the citizens of Leeds to take a stand. These events provide an opportunity for everyone, especially men, to engage in dialogue and action that supports the eradication of violence against women and girls.

Proactive Measures and Community Support

Leeds City Council’s proactive approach is embodied in their partnership with the WalkSafe App. This free app does not only promote safe walking routes but also spotlights registered businesses participating in the Ask for Angela scheme. Additionally, the Women’s Night Safe Space, a mobile bus initiative launched in 2022, provides a tangible support resource for women in the city.

Anthea Sully, CEO of White Ribbon UK, praised Leeds’ efforts, saying, “Leeds City Council are working to make streets in Leeds safer by providing support for women and working with men to recognize and challenge harmful behaviors when they happen so violence is prevented before it starts.”

The council’s commitment to safety is unwavering, with social media channels serving as a hub for updates and information throughout the campaign. These channels play a key role in keeping the public informed and engaged.

Through these concerted efforts, Leeds demonstrates that the fight against gender-based violence is not just a fleeting moment but an ongoing battle. With the city’s landmarks aglow in orange, Leeds reaffirms its dedication to creating a future where women and girls live free from the spectre of violence, not just for 16 days, but every day.

  • Leeds is participating in the 16 Days of Activism campaign to combat gender-based violence.
  • Landmarks in Leeds will be lit in orange to symbolize a future devoid of violence against women and girls.
  • The city has established partnerships with safety apps and ‘safe spaces’ for women to promote public safety.
  • Leeds encourages community participation through activities like the White Ribbon parkrun and the Reclaim the Night march.
  • The city council’s proactive measures include collaborations with the WalkSafe App and the Women’s Night Safe Space initiative.

By george