The 16th Day: International Human Rights Day

The world united, hand-in-hand

For 16 days, we have invited you to think about and share what you can do to help end violence against women and girls. We’ve talked about learning how to intervene when someone is experiencing abuse, we’ve discussed teaching children from a young age about the values of respect and equality, we’ve encouraged one another to consider volunteering and donating to women’s rights organizations, and more. The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence concludes on this, the International Human Rights Day. And though the campaign is coming to a close, we hope you will carry on the conversation about how everyone can be helpful in the effort to end the cycle of violence against women.

The International Human Rights Day is a day on which we are each invited to stand up for someone’s rights and foster a global culture of respect and dignity for all. After all, it commemorates the day in Paris in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in response to the conclusion of World War II. This made official the fact that all humans are born free and equal — with the same basic rights. You may be familiar with this famous clause from the declaration, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”

Though it’s been nearly seven decades since the UDHR was drafted, we still witness inequality based on an array of characteristics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and more. We see human rights violations every day right here at home and around the world. This is unacceptable and we can do so much better!

At Interval House, we stand up for basic human rights for all, without exceptions. We stand up for women who face violence at the hands of their partners — violence that stems from problematic gender stereotypes and a culture that still treats women as lesser than. We stand up for children who experience family violence and need love and understanding to heal. We stand up for people of colour who deserve the same open doors as everyone else. We stand up for social justice.

We are grateful that you stand with us too and we know that you will take your activism with you, beyond these 16 days, to help create a safe environment for women and girls. By banding together and continuing to discuss gender-based violence, we are reinforcing the notion that everyone deserves a life free of violence.