9 tips for campaigning against gender-based violence

International Women's Day is not only a celebration of the incredible social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women worldwide, but an acknowledgement that gender equality is yet to be achieved. It is also a day that recognises that we must all work together to create a more gender inclusive, global community.

This year we ask you to #BeBoldForChange and campaign to eradicate gender based violence and create an inclusive, fair world where women are safe from harm. Campaigning is a great, effective way of creating social change and challenging serious issues faced by women globally.

Here are a few tips on how you can #BeBoldForChange and campaign against gender based violence:

1. The ball is in your court:

Creating social change involves taking the initiative and becoming part of a wider community of advocates.Social change is not the responsibility of a single person, but the combination of a wide effort of active advocates for change. Be proactive in your fight against gender based violence by getting involved in campaigns. Youth For Change for example are campaigning for changes in policy that safeguards women & girls. You can sign our petition here

2. Get your facts straight:

Before you begin a campaign or join a movement, make sure you've done your research into the cause, how it affects you and what the most effective way to combat the issue is. Through your research you can familiarise yourself with existing campaigns and ways in which you can become involved. The more you know about the issue, the more effective you will be in making change.

3. Start Local!

To campaign for international change, you must first start locally. You can do this by contacting your member of parliament and asking them to support your cause in parliament. You could also contact local youth organisations and tell them about the campaign and why they should support it. Local community cohesion is what forms the foundations of international change, so if you want to create global change, start in your local neighborhood!

4. Actions speak louder than words:

Show your passion for change through your actions. This may be through writing letters to policymakers, or raising awareness of the issue in your local community. Although writing letters is an effective and important part of campaigning, you could also show your commitment to social change by volunteering in your local community. You can participate in a whole load of events taking place on  International Women's Day, and join women from across the UK in celebrating the incredible achievements of women.

5. Every cloud has a silver lining:

Campaigning is a means to forge global progression; but it won't happen overnight. Whenever you feel your voice isn't being heard, or your own campaign doesn't feel effective, don't give up. Go back to the drawing board and discuss new ideas to develop your campaign.

7. It takes two (or more!) to tango:

Collaboration is key. If you're passionate about an issue, chances are those around you may also want to advocate for the same change. You can join forces with other who have different areas of expertise, and learn from others successes and mistakes. You can also connect with other initiatives and maximise your outreach by sharing campaigns and by encouraging others to #BeBoldForChange.

8. Tweet all about it!

As a new generation of changemakers, we have an incredible asset that can spread our message to thousands in just a few seconds. Social media has now become one of the most effective ways to campaign and by joining in on the #BeBoldForChange, you can also be a part of the interactive advocacy campaign.

9. Just have fun!

Finally, campaigning may be hard work and it may take time to produce effective change, but ultimately social change is incredibly rewarding. Being part of a global community, working in unison to end gender based violence is the ultimate success, but make sure you're having fun every step of the way!

These tips should get you started, but the key ingredient to a successful campaign is a real passion to develop our communities and to make this world a safer place for women. Most importantly, let us work together as modern day feminists towards justice, equality and gender parity on International Women's Day.

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