16 Days of Activism Campaign to end all forms of Violence against against Gender-Based Violence
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25th of November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on the 10th of December, Human Rights Day.
This was the first year this campaign was conducted in the outer island, in Pangai, Ha’apai. The Australian High Commissioner to Tonga and the Ambassador for White Ribbon Day H.E Andrew Ford, officially launched the 16 Days of Activism on the 24th of November 2018. The launch consisted of an Awareness parade that morning where community youth groups, schools, government ministries and businesses were invited to participate. It began at 9:00am – 10:00am from the Government Primary School of Tongaleleka to the Free Weslyan Church Pangai’s Hall and Star Pau’u participated in this parade on behalf of the Centre.
Star Pau’u also attended the White Ribbon 2018 Marking and Launching service at the Free Wesleyan Church of Pangai on the morning of the 25th of November and the White Ribbon Carol Night on the same day where Church Leaders of Ha’apai spoke about this theme. These programs aim at creating greater awareness and inclusiveness on the issues of ending all forms of violence against women and girls. Star Pau’u’s involvement was good for the Centre to show support and to expose FPLAC to the other outer islands.
This trip to Ha’apai was initiated with the aim of attending and participating in the launch of the 16 Days of Activism and also to create further awareness for the Family Protection Legal Aid (FPLAC) Centre and its mandate by targeting the grass roots communities and thanks to the Centre’s informal partnership with the South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) Star Pau’u and Fitilagi Fa’anunu were able to hold talanoa sessions with the women’s groups in the villages that SPBD works with. These villages included: Hihifo, Ha’atou, Pangai, Fotu’a, Fangale’oua, Koulo, Holopeka, Faleloa, Ha’afakahenga, Ha’ateiho Si’i and Loto Foa.