International Women's Day - Using Video to Stop Violence

Regions: Global

Issues: Discrimination, Rape and sexual abuse, Violence against women, Women's rights

Tags: accountability, Beijing Declaration, women and girls

Up to 60% of women will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes.  Whether in the form of domestic violence perpetrated by an intimate partner, mass rape used as a weapon of war, or criminalization of reproductive rights, violence against women (VAW) remains one of the most pervasive violations of human rights across borders, cultures, and economic classes.

In the past three decades, much progress has been made in developing international legal frameworks to define, prevent, and prosecute VAW (see, for example, CEDAW, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and UN Security Council Resolutions 132518201888 and 1889).

But there's still a long way to go. Last week, as I attended different events organized alongside the 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, I heard three words over and over again: implementation, enforcement, and accountability.   

So on this International Women's Day, we're highlighting some of the videos that are helping bridge this gap by exposing, documenting, and strengthening the call for an end to violence against women and girls - please share other your own examples in the comments field below!


1) One Million Signatures Campaign - In Iranian courts, the testimony of two women carries the same legal weight as the testimony of one man and women are not offered equal legal rights when it comes to marriage, divorce, and compensation. This activist-led campaign aims at mobilizing support to fight discriminatory laws against women in Iran:




2) The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo - shot in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006, this video was screened to UN representatives to push for a special session at the Security Council on women, peace and security. Resolution 1820 was one of the outcomes of that session.



3) The Girl Effect - produced by Nike Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, BRAC, CARE and others, this short animated video highlights importance of educating and prioritizing girls:



4) Think About's campaign in Brazil that used video to force people to think about what it really means to criminalize abortion:




5) Is this democracy? A Nigerian activist on one of the panels I attended told me about this one - in November of 2008, a Nigerian woman named Uzoma Okere was assaulted by Navy officers on a street in Lagos. The attack was captured on video and, 13 months later, Nigerian courts delivered what many are considering a landmark judgement in favor of Okere, sending a strong message that violence against women will no longer be tolerated. Read more on the case in the Nigerian Curiosity blog and on allAfrica: At Last, Justice for Uzoma Okere.



6) Women in Haiti - this latest video by ActionAid highlights the heightened insecurity facing women in Haiti after the January earthquake.



7) Every woman has a story, and every story can create change - see how WITNESS partners are working to end VAW by focusing on the disappearances of women and girls in Mexico; on discrimination against minority women in Yemen; and on political violence against women in Zimbabwe:







Directory of UN Resources on Gender and Women's Issues - VAW

Global Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence Against Women and Girls

UNIFEM - United Nations Development Fund for Women



SAY NO - UNITE: End Violence Against Women 

Women WON'T Wait

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

Take Back the Tech

* Man Up Campaign - A Global initiative to engage youth in preventing VAW




**A huge thanks to Rose Anderson and Violeta Krasnic for the amazing research used in this post! 


Documentary The Moon Inside You

Many thanks for this blog. I´d just like to let you know about our documentary entitled The Moon inside you - I think it can help women empowerment as well as a deeper communication between man and women.
Like many other women, Diana has been suffering from problematic periods for years. With every new cycle, the same question arises: “Why the pain and annoyance if I am healthy?”.
Her initial innocent curiosity sparks off an emotional voyage to the very roots of femininity and life. THE MOON INSIDE YOU is a fresh look at a taboo that defines the political and social reality of both women and men in a more profound way than society might be willing to admit. Facing the menstrual etiquette with doses of humour and self-irony, the documentary approaches the subject through both personal and collective references, thus challenging our preconceived idea of womanhood.

A womans rights and freedom tied to a nation being in the UN

After hearing and seeing the atrocities shared and endured by the women in the above video's,..the continuous suffering and absolute subhuman behavior against women in general, is my view that any nation however great or small be expelled as members by the United Nations until the women in those countries...'all of them';.. including those considered untouchables,..or in any cast be treated with ABSOLUTE DIGNITY and REVERED in equal terms as that particular nations male population.
Furthermore,..that ANY, or ALL financial help given by women honoring and respecting nations to help those nations given to such vile practices against their womenfolk, permanently withheld until the complete restoration of equal rights and freedoms for all women in that nation found guilty of such atrocities.
That such practices be published worldwide as to the abominable practices in those countries until the situation against women changes for their women and reconciliation
for them is achieved.
This is not the time for half measures,..only full measures that will cause transformed thoughts towards women worldwide as the only acceptable way forwards from now on.

David Wick


Thank you for these very informative powerful videos!!

8th March, International Womens Day Celebration Video

my video for 8th March - International Women's Day Celebration, 2008.

This video is from Ankara, Turkey.

the outside parts is recorded at night.

Womens overall are saying, take back the night, we want nights and streets again.

and the name of the video is, "Cinderella, do not go to ball! Get out to the streets on the March 8th !

with solidarity from Turkey,


international womens day

It is shameful on the part of the entire society that women are being looked as fancy items. women who give birth to males also should be treated with respect , dignity . then only the society is a civilized one.

I am a survivor of years of

I am a survivor of years of abuse and violence. Certainly nothing compared to some of these women, but still a survivor. For most of my life I felt trapped in the cycle of violence. I was always afraid. It was only til I saw the effects of violence inflicted on my daughter that I was strong enough to say NO. I have done extensive research in violence prevention and using technology to organize for human rights is the best way to give those a voice who do not have one. Witness is providing the tools, now we just need to use them.

women and their stories

i really like this blog post priscila. the more we can see and hear the stories of abuse against women and girls, the more likely we are to see change, both in attitude and behavior, and hopefully in policy and practice too. i hope we see many more videos in 2010 from all over the world on gender-based violence, from both women who are affected by the abuses, local human rights defenders, film makers, concerned citizens and others. it is surely time for equal rights and opportunities for women and girls, and for those who deny them to realize the power of women in building societies everywhere.

merci pour l'article, j'ai

merci pour l'article, j'ai trouvé très intéressant !

All interesting video about

All interesting video about international women's day in one article- great, thanks for sharing this video and article Priscila, good job!!