We’re not here to discuss whether or not there is a problem. That part is clear and should be taken as read. We live in a violent world and it’s not getting any better. As I type this up, violent protests have broken out in Ferguson, a previously low key neighborhood in Missouri, USA (see our post: State of Emergency in Missouri). This because a grand jury made a decision not to indict a police officer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager on August 9 this year. Closer to home, militants belonging to the feared Boko Haram group and disguised as traders have killed about 48 people in northern Nigeria. 48 lives, probably innocent people, snuffed out just like that. Pick a continent; a country; a city or village. The story is the same – we have a violence problem in our world.
This post is about another form of violence. It is a type of violence perpetrated against a group of people who should actually be protected, nurtured and loved in our homes and in our societies. If it isn’t clear yet, I’m talking about violence against women and children. Today marks the beginning of an annual global campaign known officially as 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, or simply the 16 Days of Activism Campaign. Over the next 16 days, 1Africa will ask 16 questions on this site and put up various forms of content with the hope that we can provoke thought and challenge but also share hope and encouragement where it’s needed. Our questions are shaped by an unashamed worldview born out of a desire to see everyone live a better life. A life plagued by violence is not a better life. A life of fear, distress and insecurity is not a better life. We cannot conquer if we don’t recognize that we have a problem. Violence against women and children is a problem. But just how bad is the problem?