No excuse for violence against women is theme for YWCA drive

(Photo: No excuses website)YWCA No excuse for violence campaigners

There is no excuse for violence against women and there is no excuse for ignoring it, says the World YWCA.

This is the rallying cry of the new campaign from the World Young Women's Christian Association for its YWCA Week, Without Violence from October 13 to 19.

The World Council of Churches on Friday invited its member churches and partners to join the World YWCA campaign.

"In this campaign we are saying there are no excuses under the sun. Neither religion nor the name of God should be used to condone gender injustice and violence," said Fulata Mbano-Moyo, the WCC's programme executive for Women in Church and Society.

"Throughout the course of history, both men and women have given excuses to justify sexual and gender-based violence, accusing raped girls or women for their dressing or disobedience.

"Even cultural or religious teachings have been used to justify violence," she said.

The campaign mobilises local communities to condemn violence against women. Around the globe women are sharing raw testimonies of their experiences to empower and inspire others.

The campaign leads up to 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an international campaign, which starts on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on December 10, Human Rights Day.

The campaign calls for participation by urging the public to share photos of themselves doing the X hand gesture, or by posting pictures of any excuse that was used when a violent act was committed, and by sharing them through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the #noXcuses hash tag.

"This year we are saying there is no excuse for violence against women, whether it is rape, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment at the work place, child marriage or psychological violence," said Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, general secretary of the World YWCA.

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