What is the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence?


Cpl Emily Reiman, 4 Wing Cold Lake Defence Women’s Advisory Organization Military Co-Chair

The 16 days of activism against gender-based violence is an international campaign that runs annually from November 25th to December 10th. November 25th leads off the campaign with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence and ends with World Human Rights Day on December 10th. The 16 Days are an opportunity to unite with partners around the world and reflect on what we can each do in our own communities and in our own lives to eliminate the disproportionate violence faced by women, girls and LGBTQ2 individuals.

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.

While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable – for instance, young girls and older women, women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, migrants and refugees, indigenous women and ethnic minorities, or women and girls living with HIV and disabilities, and those living through humanitarian crises.

Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as to the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights.

We all have a role to play in preventing and addressing gender-based violence, which is why this year’s 16 Days theme is #OurActionsMatter. Between November 25 and December 10, we encourage you to join the conversation and reflect on the concrete steps you can take to question, call out, and speak up against acts of gender-based violence.

During this year’s campaign you can show solidarity by wearing purple on November 25 to raise awareness about gender-based violence. Add your voice to the growing chorus of survivors, advocates and partners and share what actions you are taking to end gender-based violence using the hashtag #OurActionsMatter. Utilize your social media platforms to start a conversation and share information from reputable sources.

You can become an ally by:
• Listening: be open to learning from the experiences of others
• Believing: support survivors and those affected by violence
• Speaking out: add your voice to call out violence
• Intervening: find a safe way to help when you see acts of gender-based violence
• Acting: give your time to organizations working to end violence

For more information check out:
https://cfc-swc.gc.ca/commemoration/vaw-vff/index-en.html (Status of Canada – 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence)
https://cfc-swc.gc.ca/index-en.html (Women and Gender Equality Canada – WAGE)