While the world continues to hold its breath during this pandemic, clubs in District 24 wanted to review how much we were able to achieve during the 16 Days of Activism in 2020, despite all the challenges faced in this period. Clubs displayed strength and conviction in getting the message out that violence against women is not acceptable either in New South Wales and The Australian Capital Territory nor the rest of the world.
All District 24 clubs had to use and adjust to Zoom to plan their campaigns as they were under lockdown for much of the preceding period. Many clubs went on to use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on each of the 16 days. Other clubs were able to mount public displays, especially in public libraries, when other venues used in the past such as riverfront walks and beach fronts did not allow walks/marches or banners.
One club was able to organize the ringing of a Rotary Peace Bell alongside the main lake in the nation’s capital; one ring for each woman killed as a result of violence. A number of politicians attended, so this club was able to take advocacy directly to the people who can enact legislation.
Another club made a marvelous short clip that was played in a major cinema complex and would have grabbed the attention of every attendee at the movies.
Other clubs sought interviews with politicians and also advocated and continued to bring pressure to extend domestic violence legislation.
Other fantastic projects included lighting displays on bridges and clock towers, stickers for the backs of toilet doors and visits and displays for high school students.
Those clubs using social media and public displays made a point of drawing people’s attention to the non-physical, as well as the physical aspects of violence directed at women. These include financial, emotional and other intimidating behaviors that coerce women. These are often the triggers that precede a homicide and yet many people seem unaware or do not recognize this.