Douglass Library hosts 16-day exhibit on gender-based violence

Photo by Saad Saeed Khan |

“16 Books for 16 Days,” began yesterday at the Mable Smith Library on Douglass campus. The exhibit displays a collection of books and posters on violence against women and human rights and will run till Dec. 10.

Rutgers University Libraries organized “16 Books for 16 Days,” an exhibit that displays posters and books that focus on violence against women and human rights at the Mabel Smith Douglass Library on Douglass Campus.

The exhibit, organized in conjunction with the Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance, started yesterday and is scheduled to go on till Dec. 10, which is International Human Rights Day.

The theme for the exhibit is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women,” according to a news release. The exhibit shows the connections between gender-based violence and militarism.

Kayo Denda, head of Margery Somers Foster Center and a Women’s Studies librarian, said she was involved in curating the exhibit, selecting books, creating a bibliography and contacting potential partners.

The topic of gender violence is very close to one of the central collection areas of Douglass library, which is gender and women, Denda said.

“We started creating this exhibit to demonstrate our support for the ‘16 Days Against Gender Violence,’ one of the hallmarks of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership,” Denda said.

The exhibition also includes posters on the theme of gender violence displayed in the entrance hall, Denda said. They were produced by women’s activist organizations around the world and collected by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership.  

The images are a part of the digital collection titled “The Center for Women’s Global Leadership Poster Collection,” an award-winning project created by Rutgers Libraries, Denda said.

The exhibit started including books about three years ago, said Sarah West, a School of Arts and Sciences junior. Some themes include ending gender violence and militarism against female human rights defenders, domestic violence and small arms, sexual violence during and after conflict and violence in prison and among children and youth.

“The books throughout the exhibit are important because it is good to have an expert weigh in on the information that is relevant and have students take it upon themselves to explore the material,” West said.

The exhibit is a part of “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence,” a campaign that started in 1991 and was sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, according to the Rutgers Libraries website.

Student organizations have organized events all over campus as part of “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence,” West said.  

“It’s important for students to attend this exhibit because students of any major spend a lot of time at the library,” West said. “For the library to become an activist space where people are presenting material about women against violence and human rights inspires people to do more.”

West said she took “Women’s Leadership Course: Knowledge and Power” where she learned about human dignity in an academic space.

“To be taught about human dignity is sad in a way, but it is also a really wonderful experience,” she said.

West said the more people read books regarding this material, the more a person’s heart will change, which will affect how people interact in the world.

“In order to try and stop women against violence, it is important to educate youth how to prevent women against violence,” she said.

Zarin Hamid, coordinator of the Gender-Based Violence Program at Center for Women’s Global Leadership, said she worked with Denda to determine the best course for the exhibit.

The exhibit is important overall because it serves as a bridge between the global campaign, the issue of gender-based violence, militarism and economic and social rights and the Rutgers community, Hamid said.

“This exhibit is important because it serves a link between the campaign which is global in nature and the Rutgers campus and community,” Hamid said. “The exhibit helps to bring the issues of the campaign closer to students and others in the community and creates an opportunity for discussion.”

By Jessica Herring

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