16 Days Campaign Frequently Asked Questions

In 1991, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University in the US convened the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute (WGLI). The 23 participants came from different countries in all of the world’s regions and were drawn from a variety of fields - lawyers, policymakers, teachers, health care workers, researchers, journalists, and activists.

As one strategy to build awareness about gender-based violence and facilitate networking among women leaders working in this area, the WGLI participants established the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign, choosing to symbolically link November 25th (International Day Against Violence Against Women) and December 10th (International Human Rights Day).

Since 1991, more than 5,167 organizations in 187 countries have organized around the 16 Days Campaign, and the issue of gender-based violence has garnered a significant amount of international attention.

More information on the global campaign can be found here. WIIS-Canada, alongside a Steering Committee is leading the Canadian programming of this global campaign.

No. Sexual and gender-based violence impacts the entire community and is therefore a community issue.  Everyone in the community has a role to play in helping to prevent abuse. This campaign aims to highlight this role. The campaign encourages participation from anyone and everyone wanting to get involved to help build an equal, just and safe society for all. Every event hosted is open to both men and women.
16 Days Campaign events are organized each year by hundreds of organizations around the world. You can join or attend an already existing student, community, national or international initiative for the 16 Days or take actions on your own.

If you want to add an event or initiative to our Canadian calendar, and become a partner in the campaign, please complete the submission form here. While we cannot provide any financial assistance, our toolkit can facilitate the organization and support the promotion of your initiative.

We welcome film screenings, artistic exhibitions, articles, public panels, workshops or discussions, fundraisers, publications, etc. Anything that raises awareness about gender-based violence is welcome, especially if it fits in with the annual theme.

To be included as a participating organization and campaign partner in Canada, submit your planned activities to WIIS-Canada through this form.  Your submissions will also enable WIIS-Canada to refer other individuals and organizations that are interested in your activities to you.

There are many men involved in the 16 Days Campaign; anyone who supports the work to end violence against women and promote women’s leadership is encouraged to participate. If you would like further information on how men can get involved with the 16 Days Campaign, there are a variety of resources and initiatives listed by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in their Resource page - Involving Men & Boys.

Since 1991, approximately 5,167 organizations in 187 countries have participated in the 16 Days Campaign. Any organization, agency, group or individual can participate in the 16 Days Campaign. Each year during the campaign, civil society organizations, advocates, activists, women human rights defenders, government agencies, corporate allies and businesses, UN staff, charities, schools, university organizations, service-providers, interest groups, and individuals plan local events and awareness-raising activities focused on gender-based violence.

Events organized for the 16 Days Campaign take a variety of forms including, but not limited to protests, rallies, marches, art exhibitions, political lobbying, theater performances, vigils, roundtable discussions, film screenings, fundraisers for local domestic violence shelters, letter writing campaigns, workshops, support groups, street theatre, training sessions in schools, media campaigns, and petition signing.

Please see the campaign pages from previous years or write to 16days@wiiscanada.org for more information.

Unfortunately, WIIS-Canada does not have any funds or grants to provide to organizations planning 16 Days activities in Canada.

Absolutely! The international theme is chosen in consultation with women’s human rights advocates around the world each year and reflects issues that we believe are important and widely relevant. However, groups are encouraged to use the 16 Days Campaign as an opportunity to work on issues that are the most relevant and pressing in their communities. Using the international campaign theme is not a requirement for participating in the campaign, and we encourage all groups to submit information about their activities.

o   Many activities in the national calendar are online. You can also use these hashtags throughout the campaign:

#16Days, #16Jours, #16DaysCanada, #16JoursCanada, #endSGBV, #NOTokay and #PAScorrect.