The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
Each year in Kosovo, activities are coordinated through the Security and Gender Group (SGG) to ensure that UN agencies, international organizations, local institutions and civil society organizations working on gender and security issues are united in marking the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence (GBV). UN Women has coordinated all 16 days of activism campaign activities on behalf of SGG for seven years. In 2018, SGG, coordinated a total of 110 activities, in around 20 municipalities in Kosovo. Activities were also organized in the surrounding rural villages of different municipalities, with all ethnic communities.
The 2019 16 Days of Activism Campaign activities will begin on 25th November under the global theme: Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape!
Work on preventing and ending violence against women at the global, regional and national levels shows that there is widespread impunity on sexual violence and rape. This is why the UN Secretary-General has decided that starting 25th November 2019 and for the next two years the UNiTE Campaign will focus on a rape as a specific form of harm committed against women and girls, in times of peace or war.
The 16 days of activism campaign revolves around two main objectives, namely creating opportunities for dialogue and sharing of experiences on gender-based violence with central institutions, victims/survivors, civil society, as well as other institutions and communities. Secondly, the campaign aims to advocate for specific changes and commitments within institutions and workplaces, including within the UN system, private sector organizations, education institutions, civil society organizations and media to promote gender equality and end Gender-Based Violence.
In support of this civil society initiative, under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against 2 Women campaign (UNiTE Campaign), calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanise advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations.
Launched in 2008, the UNiTE Campaign is a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls around the world. UNiTE calls on governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls. The campaign builds on existing international legal and policy frameworks and works to synergize the efforts of all UN offices and agencies working to prevent and end violence against women and girls.
Next year, 2020 will see an important milestone for the issue of gender equality and work on preventing and ending violence against women and girls, 25 years of the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action.
The 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing marked a significant turning point for the global agenda for gender equality.
The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, adopted unanimously by 189 Member States at this conference, is today an agenda for women’s empowerment and it is considered the key global policy document on gender equality. It sets strategic objectives and actions for the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equality in 12 critical areas of concern: Women and poverty, Education and training of women, Women and health, Violence against women, Women and armed conflict, Women and the economy, Women in power and decision-making, Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women, Human rights of women, Women and the media, Women and the environment and the girl-child.
Orange the World
Generation Equality Stands against Rape! In 2015, a new global development agenda was accepted by all countries and is applicable to all. Through its 17 goals, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an agenda for global action for the next 11 years, addresses the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social, and environmental. The Agenda recognizes gender equality and the empowerment of women as a key priority and pledges that “no one will be left behind.” Goal 5 of the agenda aims to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” and includes specific targets to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. However, all goals are integrated and indivisible, therefore their achievement is also fully dependent on ensuring parallel and interconnected implementation of the efforts to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls.
All UNiTE Campaign partners, including UN agencies, civil society, private sector, sports associations, youth groups, universities, schools etc. are encouraged to:
• On the 25th November wear the colour orange and “orange” physical spaces including your workplaces, significant monuments in your cities and communities, online spaces such as the
• Run an online and offline awareness raising campaign about our three strategic advocacy areas under the theme Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape every day during the 16 Days of Activism.
• Create opportunities for dialogue between activists and policy makers, private sector organizations and the public. Discuss the need for inclusive policies and programming for preventing and ending rape and sexual violence of women and girls.
• Feature stories from activists and survivor advocates through print and digital platforms.
• Explore creative and innovative approaches, such as through the medium of documentary films, exhibitions, digital and print media. This could be done in partnership with NGOs and partners in the creative arts sectors.
• Tell stories of how your organization is supporting activists and survivor advocates.
• Stimulate public conversations and educate the public on what individuals and organisations can do to end the culture of rape.
• Hold seminars or radio programmes on the concept of consent.