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.

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 Women campaign (UNiTE campaign) calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations. The theme for the 2019 16 Days of Activism campaign was “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape!”

Around the world, the Spotlight Initiative and its partners organized activities with young people to raise awareness on violence against women, consent and mutual respect. 

Joint video statement from heads of UN agencies

"We will leave no one behind."

To mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, the heads of UNFPA, UNDP and UN Women shared a message of solidarity to end all forms of violence against women and girls.

From Africa to Latin America and Southeast Asia, young people and street artists around the world engaged in a dialogue on consent and mutual respect as part of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign. Together, they created artworks that aimed at raising awareness on violence against women and girls and at spreading messages of peace in their community. 

In Argentina, the Spotlight Initiative partnered with a program called Pinceladas por la Igualdad (Brushstrokes for equality). Four secondary schools in the city of Salta, in northern Argentina, painted murals to spread messages of equality and against gender violence. One of the murals was painted in the Women's Integral Pole, in the city of Salta, which provides assistance to women who are undergoing domestic violence. 

In El Salvador, artists from the Lolipop association shared their experience with 30 young boys and girls on how to deliver a message through art. They teached them painting and graffiti techniques and how to create their own piece of art. Watch the video interview of the artists here

In Honduras, Lenca women – a Mesoamerican indigenous community of America, participated to an art workshop where they were asked to look at themselves in the mirror and draw what they were looking at. The final artwork represents a group of women and girls, united by a chain of flowers, growing corn and potatoes in a violence-free community.

In Lao PDR, the Spotlight Initiative’s Safe and Fair Project together with its partner conducted drawing competition with young people to raise awareness and provide information on violence against women and on the rights of women migrants workers. The young people, separated into two age groups – 10-18 years old and +18years old, draw their personal representation of violence, harassment, consent and mutual respect. 

In Malawi, more than 300 students from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources expressed their views on gender-based violence, consent and mutual respect through drawings and paintings. After collecting the students’ artworks, a street artist realized a giant patchwork. 

In Mexico the celebrations began with the inauguration of the exhibition called “We are not All” which featured 30 illustrations made in memory of the victims of femicide. Young activists engaged in a conversation around the theme “Millennials and centennials against violence against women. Actions from art and design, journalism, social and peripheral activism, and positive masculinities.”

Teenagers are inauguratuing the murals they painted as part of the 16 days of actvism campaign to raise awareness on gender-based violence. Photo: Spotlight Initiative

In Niger, teenagers worked together with a street artist to produce a colorful mural to raise awareness on the benefit of consent and mutual respect versus the negative consequences of gender-based violence for the society as a whole. Young influencers and the Spotlight family : UN, European union, civil society and government representatives all pledge to gain more support for a Niger with zero violence.

Around the world, the Spotlight Initiative and its partners organized multiples activities to raise awareness on the multiple forms of violence against women and girls.

ASEAN - The Spotlight Initiative launched a photo exhibition to celebrate the strength of women migrant workers in the ASEAN region.

In the margins of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence UNiTE campaign, this exhibition aimed to highlight the stories of sixteen migrant women survivors of violence. From Myanmar to Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia, these women have decided to fight for their rights and those of their fellow women migrants. Upon their return to their home country, each of them joined grassroots organizations to support the new generations of women migrant workers and to ensure that their migration journey would be safe and fair.
You can read and listen to the stories of the sixteen survivors here

MALAWI - Engaging influencers to raise awareness on violence against women and girls

As part of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign, fourteen influencers joined the Spotlight Initiative in Malawi to raise advocacy for the elimination of violence against women and girls. The video interviews were on two national television stations - MBC TV and Times TV, and widely on social media. You can watch the videos here.



MOZAMBIQUE - Run for change!

More than 100 people joined the Spotlight Initiative mini-marathon in Maputo to raise awareness on violence against women and girls.

 UGANDA - Safe Boda ride to raise wareness en violence against women and girls 

500 Boda drivers took part to the Spotlight Initiative-supported Safe Boda ride in Uganda during the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. The activity was organized by Safe Boad and UN Women Uganda. 

Zimbabwe - Launch of the Mobile One-Stop Center Campaigns (Hopley)
The Government of Zimbabwe, in partnership with the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) launched a mobile one-stop-center in Hopley, Harare, to assist survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) and to eradicate violence against women and girls. The model has garnered attention in development settings as an exemplary approach to facilitating comprehensive and ethical care for survivors of GBV. It offers health care, psychosocial support, police victim friendly and legal aid services to GBV victims under one roof in communities.