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Activist Origins of the 16 Days Campaign
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.
What is the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign?
The 16 Days of Activism is a campaign which calls for the elimination of gender-based violence by raising awareness at the local, national, and international levels. It bolsters local projects working on issues of violence against women, provides a forum for effective strategy and knowledge-sharing, demonstrates the solidarity of women, and creates tools to pressure governments to implement policies aimed at eliminating violence against women.
More information on the global campaign can be found here. Women in International Security (WIIS) Canada, alongside a Steering Committee is leading the Canadian programming of this global campaign.
What are the Objectives of the 16 Days Campaign in Canada?
We aim to:
Educate: inform and draw awareness to the issue of sexual and gender-based violence.
Engage: facilitate opportunities for diverse participation and dialogue in the community against sexual and gender-based violence.
Empower: provide tools and resources on activism against sexual and gender-based violence in order to further an equal, just and safe society, locally and abroad.
Is the Campaign just for women?
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.
How can I get involved?
If you want to add an event or initiative to our Canadian calendar, and become a partner in the 2016 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 2016 theme ““From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All.”
How can I obtain more information?
Please inquire at 16Days@wiiscanada.org if you have any additional questions, would like to volunteer or donate to the campaign.
Support the 16 Days Campaign in Canada!