Gender Issues

What is the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign?

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. Participants chose the dates, November 25, International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women and December 10, International Human Rights Day, in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights.

This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including: November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and in North America in particular, December 6, Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

The 16 Days Campaign has been used as an organizing strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by:

• raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels
• strengthening local work around violence against women
• establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women
• providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies
• demonstrating the solidarity of men and women around the world organizing against violence against women
• creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women

Over 2,000 organizations in more than 150 countries have participated in the 16 Days Campaign since 1991!

The Annual Themes

Every year, CWGL composes a Campaign theme in consultation with women’s human rights advocates worldwide and then circulates an announcement for the campaign as widely as possible.

For 2007 the theme is:
Demanding Implementation, Challenging Obstacles: End Violence Against Women!
Participants in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign have been instrumental in bringing issues of violence against women to the forefront in local, national, regional and global arenas. The strategies employed by groups and the activities organized during the 16 Days Campaign period continue to be unique and innovative.

For more information, see: http://www.cwgl.rutgers.edu or contact: Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA;
e-mail: cwgl@igc.org For links to White Ribbon campaign in NZ, see : www.unifem.org.nz

For your info: – previous 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign themes have been:

• “Violence Against Women Violates Human Rights” (1991/1992),
• “Democracy without Women’s Human Rights . . . is not Democracy” (1993),
• “Awareness, Accountability, Action: Violence Against Women Violates Human Rights” (1994),
• “Vienna, Cairo, Copenhagen and Beijing: Bringing Women’s Human Rights Home” (1995),
• “Demand Women’s Human Rights in the Home and in the World” (1997),
• “Building a Culture of Respect for Human Rights” (1998),
• “Fulfilling the Promise of Freedom from Violence” (1999),
• “Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the Campaign” (2000),
• “Racism and Sexism: No More Violence” (2001),
• “Creating a Culture That Says ‘No’ to Violence Against Women” (2002),
• “Violence Against Women Violates Human Rights: Maintaining the Momentum Ten Years After Vienna (1993-2003)” (2003),
• “For the Health of Women, For the Health of the World: No More Violence,” (2004-2005),
• “Celebrate 16 Years of 16 Days: Advance Human Rights ‹—› End Violence Against Women” (2006)

Further information documents 

Taking gender into account

16 Days of Activism-core info-2007

NCWNZ white paper on gender equality.  The link to the white paper, and a summary booklet, follows: http://www.ncwnz.org.nz/what-we-do/enabling-womens-potential-the-social-economic-and-ethical-imperative/

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