This year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign has focused on the fact that we must ‘Leave No One Behind‘ if we’re to eradicate or even reduce the ongoing violation of rights that continues to occur all over the world.

For me, personally, Girls’ Globe is a true example of leaving no one behind.

It is a pertinent and powerful platform which brings women, girls and men together and amplifies their voices, stories and perspectives. It is a place to raise awareness and share experiences. It is a place where all women have a voice and all girls have an opportunity. It’s about young people – of all genders, origins, backgrounds and beliefs – collaborating to create content with the power not only to inform ordinary global citizens, but to influence policy and decision makers.

‘Leaving No One Behind’ is the universal principle at the core of the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It ensures that every citizen of every country in every corner of every community is included in the plight to implement the 17 Global Goals and achieve results beyond the targets and indicators. It has become a rallying cry on global, regional and national platforms.

Our mothers, sisters and daughters have lived in a world where sexual and gender-based violence were regular occurrences and socio-culturally acceptable norms, especially when between man and wife. Our women and girls have been abused, tortured, humiliated and violated through a politically endorsed, socially accepted and unjustly oppressive social system called patriarchy. This system oozes inequality and unfairness and inflicts everlasting damage on the world. As a result, women continue to face physical, emotional and mental abuse because structural, systematic abusive behaviours towards them continue to go unpunished.

Many communities – previously and currently underserved and marginalized – have been systematically oppressed and deliberately excluded due to neoliberal policies, and well…patriarchy. Women and children face the biggest burden of social segregation and political manipulation. Therefore, prioritizing the interests of the poorest and most vulnerable, and putting these populations first, is vital in tackling issues like gender based violence.

Women around the world face similar issues and challenges, and women understand what needs to be done to overcome them, although in many cases they lack the resources, opportunities and support to shape the world they live in. Girls’ Globe is about partnership. It is about fostering bonds and building a network of strong and capable women who carry the voices of their peers, community members and families with them in their advocacy. This creates a unique opportunity for collaboration, communication and connection, just what the 2030 Agenda needs to capitialize on in order to be successful.

Let’s be honest. Many countries are, at this very moment, struggling to meet the goal of leaving no one behind. Some might not even have achieved the expected progress when conducting their five-year monitoring and evaluations review in a few year’s time.  However, it is worth the effort required. Leaving no one behind requires commitment from public, private and civil society sector on national, regional and global levels.

Girls’ Globe is publishing opinions and ideas on tackling gender-based violence from our global network of bloggers and organizations during each of the 16 Days of Activism. We’re also crowdfunding to be able to continue to raise the voices of girls and young women in 2018 – voices like Zanele’s. Donate today and help us to continue building a safer, more equal world. 

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The content on Girls’ Globe is created by our members – activists, advocates and experts on gender equality, human rights and social justice from around the world.