As COVID-19 has increased the risk of gender-based violence, ICMC has intensified its efforts to prevent and eliminate it. During the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, ICMC Jordan and its partners organized several activities, mobilizing to raise awareness of the cause.
In Jordan, the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), along with several local authorities and community-based organizations, organized a series of activities and events to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in 2021. ICMC Jordan coordinated the campaign’s actions, calling for initiatives, enhancing awareness, and exchanging information to support the 16 Days campaign.
The campaign’s first activity featured sessions explaining Jordanian labor laws for people with disabilities. They included discussions aimed at increasing people with disabilities’ access to services, decision-making power, and engagement in the workplace. ICMC coordinated the awareness sessions under the title: “Legal challenges facing people with disabilities in terms of access to work.” The sessions took place at the Charitable Child Welfare Association for the Hearing Impaired in Mafraq, with the support of a sign language interpreter, and at the Al-Nahda Association for Kinetic Challenges for People with Mobility Impairment in Irbid. Tamkeen Jordan, a Jordanian NGO focused on legal aid and access to human rights, collaborated with ICMC to organize the sessions.
The ICMC Protection Team took part in a joint event with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Women and girls interested in sharing their experiences with violence filmed videos and were then selected to share them during a Zoom session. Furthermore, an ICMC’s counselor took part in a video launched by UNHCR to raise awareness of gender-based violence through key messages.
The Charitable Child Welfare Association in Mafraq hosted the campaign’s second activity. The ICMC Protection Team held face-to-face sessions with participants of its Youth Empowerment Program, during which they discussed issues related to gender-based violence. Women and girls participated in one session, and men and boys in another. ICMC’s counseling team also conducted a virtual session on the impact of COVID-19 on beneficiaries facing denial of resources and limited access to services, both during and after the lockdown.
ICMC set up a third campaign activity via WhatsApp groups. The organizers shared questions about the 16 Days campaign messages among members of its Intergenerational and Youth Empowerment support groups. Those who correctly answered every question received a certificate at the end of the campaign. Certificates were also distributed to women who presented campaign messages as part of self-care sessions in Mafraq and Irbid. Local community leaders and men and boys’ groups also communicated the campaign’s key messages throughout their communities.
Finally, ICMC’s social workers completed three life skills awareness-raising sessions in the Hawijah refugee camp in Mafraq. The sessions targeted extremely vulnerable girls and young women aged 14 to 21 who were either married as children or at risk of entering a child marriage. As one of the participants said, “I had never participated in similar activities before, and this activity provided me with an opportunity to raise my thoughts and feelings; today I am aware of my rights and responsibilities, and I am capable of solving my difficulties without the assistance of others.”
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day. During these days, individuals and organizations all over the world unite to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls and raise awareness of these issues.