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We Can End Violence Against Women

11 Sep 2004

The six-year, six-country South Asian Campaign to End All Violence – or the ‘We Can’ campaign – aims to deal with violence women endure daily, both within their homes and in the larger society, in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

It recognises violence against women is rooted in gender inequality and that whether in homes or outside, it reflects the power structures in society which relegate the status of women in society to be only that after men. Its starting point is, thus, to deal with conditions that systematically deny women their lives, health, rights, choices and power in the family.

Violence against women affects every woman’s life in the region, even if she herself is not a victim. It is evident in every decision she makes - or does not - (within homes, social settings or workplace) be it the mode of dress, behaviour or movement. And, in turn, it affects each one in society adversely.

Launched in 2004 and being taken forward by over 2,400 organisations in the six countries, ‘We Can’ has raised large scale public awareness on bias, inequality and violence against women, particularly domestic violence, and is a trigger for a new consciousness, attitudinal change and enhancement of rights.

It is allowing millions of ordinary men and women to find solutions to violence in their homes and lives, and find ways to reject it.

The central force of the campaign is people who bring change – Change Makers. There are over 2.7 million Change Makers who are actively committing to not perpetuating or supporting violence and influencing others to take a similar path. The numbers of the Change Makers are growing with each passing day.

In its second phase now, ‘We Can’ is building social cohesion and networks. This will support and sustain the created change, foster an organised mass movement, and aid in transforming existing power relations in society to end all violence against women.