Sunday was International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and marked the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, an international campaign that began with the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. Since then, over 2,000 organizations in over 150 countries have participated in the 16 Days Campaign. The Campaign”s theme this year is “Demanding Implementation, Challenging Obstacles: End Violence Against Women!”
The campaign is held in the 16 days between the Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 and International Human Rights Day on December 10 in order “symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights.” The 16-day campaign also includes International Women Human Rights Defenders Day (November 29), World AIDS Day (December 1), and the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre (December 6), which claimed the lives of 14 women.
The goals of the campaign are raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels, strengthening local work around violence against women, establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women, providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies, demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against women, and creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women.