The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
This event was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
In support of this civil society initiative, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign (UNiTE campaign) calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations.
Orange the world: End violence against women now!
The global theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which will run from 25 November to 10 December 2021, is ‘Orange the world: End violence against women now!’
Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime. In times of crises, the numbers rise, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts and climate disasters.
A new report from UN Women, based on data from 13 countries since the pandemic, shows that 2 in 3 women reported that they or a woman they know experienced some form of violence and are more likely to face food insecurity. Only 1 in 10 women said that victims would go to the police for help.
Gender-based violence can and must be prevented
While pervasive, gender-based violence is not inevitable. It can and must be prevented. Stopping this violence starts with believing survivors, adopting comprehensive and inclusive approaches that tackle the root causes, transform harmful social norms, and empower women and girls. With survivor-centred essential services across policing, justice, health, and social sectors, and sufficient financing for the women’s rights agenda, we can end gender-based violence.
The Generation Equality Forum that concluded in Paris in July set the momentum for decisive actions and investment to advance gender equality. The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, the only global grant-making mechanism dedicated to ending and preventing all forms of violence against women, has announced a special fundraising challenge, #Give25forUNTF25, marking 25 years of grant-making to support women’s organizations around the world.