16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence 2022

by Asmaa Elwahy

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence 2022

According to the UN, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

The campaign, led by civil society, is supported by the United Nations through the Secretary General’s UNiTE by 2030 initiative to end violence against women. This year’s theme for the 16 Days is “UNiTE! Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls.”

Violence against women and girls remains the most pervasive human rights violation around the world. Already heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, its prevalence is now being further increased by the intersecting crises of climate change, global conflict and economic instability.

Against this backdrop, there is a global backlash against women’s rights. Anti-feminist movements are on the rise, as are attacks on women human rights defenders and activists, and the legal status of women’s rights in many countries. Regressive new laws increase impunity for domestic violence perpetrators, governments use force against femicide and gender-based violence protestors, and women’s rights organizations are increasingly marginalized.

Despite these depressing trends, there is more evidence than ever that violence against women and girls can be avoided. Evidence shows that a strong and autonomous women’s movement is the single most important driver of policy change, making feminist mobilization in the face of anti-rights backlash a literal matter of life and death.

This 16 Days, the UN encouraging everyone to get involved: from amplifying the voices of survivors and activists to supporting women’s organizations and strengthening feminist movements, we can all act to empower survivors, reduce and prevent violence against women and girls, and protect women’s rights

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