By Eva Mola, Advocate

You may have heard of the 16 days of Activism, perhaps not.

Here’s what it is about in brief.

From 25th November to 10th December of every year, the international community observes 16 days during which awareness is raised about Gender Based Violence, and action to end violence is highlighted. It is a time when efforts to end Gender Based Violence are communicated in a 16 days long campaign as a strategy for greater impact.

Origins of the Campaign

In 1991, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University in New Jersey USA initiated the 16 Days campaign as a way to rally activists, government leaders and other stakeholders around the world to demand an end to gender based violence. The campaign links two important dates that are observed: the International Day Against Violence Against Women (25th November) and the International Human Rights Day (10th December). The idea is to dedicate 16 days to call for elimination of all forms of gender based violence. Over the years, the campaign has managed to show that gender based violence is not just a “women’s issue” but a “human rights issue”. Both men and women play a vital role in eliminating gender based violence.

The campaign has also been instrumental in raising awareness about gender based violence and demonstrating the unity of civil society entities that advocate for elimination of all forms of gender based violence.

What’s in it for you?

The campaign is particularly unique in that it allows individuals to participate in different initiatives and activities within their local vicinity and on social media. You can participate in the fight against gender based violence by adopting the 16 days’ profile pictures which are available in many forms and languages, by posting and interacting on posts that raise awareness about gender based violence, or by wearing something orange and taking a picture for social media with the hashtag #16days. There are also various activities held locally and on social media platforms from which you can learn more about gender based violence and how you can play a role in its elimination. These are in form of webinars, twitter teach-ins, blogs, etc.