The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (November 25-December 10) occurs annually to raise awareness of, and galvanize global support to end violence against women and girls. But the conversation doesn’t stop on December 10!
Read on for six ways to join the global conversation and get involved with this year’s #16Days movement, joining Together for Girls and our partners in fighting gender-based violence (GBV).
Meet a hero: Get inspired by the Together for Girls list of #16Heroes fighting gender-based violence. Together for Girls highlighted 16 people working to end GBV around the world. From a Colombian journalist to a Yazidi activist to a determined Afghani adolescent girl rapper, our 16 heroes show that tackling a global problem like sexual violence can start with individual action.
Revisit the data: Through the Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys (VACS), led by national governments with technical assistance and support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other partners as part of the Together for Girls partnership, we now have data on 12 percent of the world’s children, adolescents, and youth (under age 24). As Dr. Daniela Ligiero, Executive Director and CEO of Together for Girls writes in her blog for the CDC Foundation, Creating Strength in Numbers to End Violence Against Women & Girls, “in order to effectively prevent and respond to violence, we must first understand it.” Explore the VACS data by visiting our Where we work page and learn how TfG country partners are turning the VACS data into programmatic action in our blog for the World Bank, Data for Policy: Building a Culture of Evidence-Based Policies to Address Violence Against Children.
Orange the world: Together for Girls partner, UN Women, is marking the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence with a series of events, including hosting advocacy events/marches, and lighting up iconic buildings in orange to shed visibility on the issue of gender-based violence. This year, UN Women is putting special focus on the far-reaching consequences of violence against women and girls within some of the most marginalized and underserved groups, such as refugees, rural populations, and indigenous people. See photos of actions taken around the world (and help orange your corner of the globe) on the UN Women blog and on social media by using the hashtag, #orangetheworld.
Support Girls’ DREAMS: Together for Girls partner, USAID, supports efforts to prevent and respond to GBV in more than 40 countries worldwide. During the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, USAID released results from PEPFAR that showcase significant declines in new HIV diagnoses among adolescent girls and young women. In the 10 African countries implementing PEPFAR’s DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe) public-private partnership, the majority (65 percent) of the highest HIV burden communities or districts achieved greater than a 25-40 percent decline in new HIV diagnoses among young women. Importantly, new diagnoses declined in nearly all DREAMS intervention districts. Read more on the DREAMS initiative, including stories from adolescent girls who have been impacted by the programming.
Become an ally: The Government of Canada (a Together for Girls partner), launched a campaign that focuses on the role we can all play to end GBV to celebrate the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. In their report, It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, they note that the roots of GBV are all around us – in sexist jokes that demean women, media messages, toxic masculinity, and rigid gender norms. Learn how everyone can take immediate action to prevent GBV and join the online conversation by using the hashtag #MYActionsMatter.
Spread the word: In Dr. Daniela Ligiero’s blog for the UN Foundation, she outlines ways in which we can help stop sexual violence, including by teaching young children about consent and helping enlist men in the movement. She also notes how we all can work to create societies where someone who has experienced sexual violence feels empowered to come forward, knowing they will be believed, protected, and not blamed.
To learn more about GBV and to access data and resources that you can use to help spread information about the far-reaching impact of GBV, visit togetherforgirls.org. By better understanding the problem and working together to spark action, we can create a safer world.