Last Updated Sunday, 29 November 2015



This year marks the 24th year of the 16 days of Activism Against Violence Against Women and Girls since its’ initiation in 1991 by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is a global campaign to raise awareness about violence against women and its impact on a woman’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual well-being. Human Rights cannot be universal without rights for women. Over the past years, campaigns and education by many NGOs, Policymakers, Governments UN Agencies, and so many more, has been creating awareness to end gender-based violence; yet violence against women and girls is still on the increase in most countries.

The 16 Days of Activism begins on November 25th, on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and, ends on December 10th, the International Human Rights Day. These two dates were chosen so that the human rights abuse that violence against women is, can be bracketed and highlighted. In view of this, and as a part of this year’s objective the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa asks that we all join in with the United Nations’ Secretary General’s Campaign “UNiTE to End Violence Against Women” and “Orange” our neighborhoods, our communities, our world. Like last year, we can do that by hosting random “Orange Events” by reaching out to our neighbors, local stores, food-sellers on the corner of our street, gas stations, video clubs, Hair & Barber salons, and, in our schools.

Please feel free to share your photos, messages and videos, showing how we are “Oranging” our world via the following mediums:

At the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, we are also involved at the granular level, using this time-frame to educate and carry out targeted awareness against gender-based violence by doing the following:

  1. Ensure mass mobilization of citizens to fight for the eradication of violence against women and girls; 
  2. Ensure that violence against women and girls comes to an end in every sphere of influence;
  3. Emphasize that everyone is each other’s keeper therefore accountable for everyone’s safety;
  4. Advocate for and ensure accountability and justice via legal redress every single time a female’s rights are violated.

Violence against women and girls takes different forms. For example, physical violence in form of domestic violence, rape, assault; Emotional violence and trauma towards women and girls in schools, work places, streets and our communities. Many women and children in one way or another has suffered from one, or more of this violence. Living free from violence is a human right, yet millions of women and girls suffer disproportionately from violence both in peace and in war, at the hands of the state, in their home and community. Across the globe, women are beaten, raped, mutilated, and killed with impunity.

Gender-based violence stems from the failure of governments and societies to recognize the human rights of women. It is rooted in a global culture of discrimination which denies women equal rights with men and which legitimizes the appropriation of women's bodies for individual gratification or political ends. Every day, all over the world, women face gender-specific persecution including genital mutilation, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, and domestic violence. At least one out of every three women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime.
Our states have the obligation to prevent, protect against, and punish violence against women - whether perpetrated by private or public actors. States have a responsibility to uphold standards of due diligence and take steps to fulfill their responsibility to protect individuals from human rights abuses. Yet such violence is often ignored and rarely punished. Too often no one is held accountable for these crimes. Therefore, it is each and every one’s responsibility to take actions to support the 16 Days of Activism, and campaign against violence against women and girls in our communities. Below are some ways in which we can all pitch in:

Encourage female victims to report and talk about abuse and ensure they are helped;

Spread the message against violence against women and girls on the social media platforms and our individual networks;
Encourage friends, relatives and colleagues to actively stand against violence against women and girls.
With your help, we can hold states and perpetrators responsible and put an end to this cycle of violence against women.
As we go into this period of active advocacy against violence against women and girls, here are sixteen points of inspiration we have to share:

  1. We have to be our own Gandhis, our own kings, our own Mandelas. -- Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate
  2. We must unite. Violence against women cannot be tolerated, in any form, in any context, in any circumstance, by any political leader or by any government. -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
  3. I think we’re at a time where people just want to join together and cause change. People don’t want to live like this anymore. – UN Messenger of Peace Charlize Theron
  4. No woman has to be a victim of physical abuse. Women have to feel like they are not alone. -- Salma Hayek, International Actress
  5. Men must teach each other that real men do not violate or oppress women – and that a woman’s place is not just in the home or the field, but in schools and offices and boardrooms. -- UN Secretary-General Ban
  6. Nobody believes that domestic violence kills and nobody believes it is detrimental to children. This world has got to wake up. To me, if there is domestic violence, if the children see it or hear it, that to
    me is detrimental. Batterers should not have rights to children.” -- Denise Brown
  7. We have to promote human solidarity, avoid indifference, and play a part with society in the solution of the problem of violence..." -- Shakira, International Artist
  8. It’s not enough for women to speak out on the issue – for the message to be strong and consistent, women’s voices must be backed up by men’s." -- Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Michigan
  9. One in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime. This is an appalling human rights violation, yet it remains one of the invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time.” -- Nicole Kidman UN Goodwill Ambassador
  10. Raise public awareness and increase political will and resources for preventing and ending all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world.-- UN SG's UNiTE Women Campaigns
  11.  "Break the silence. When you witness violence against women and girls, do not sit back. Act." --. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary - General
  12. We envision a world where gender-based violence is unacceptable; where perpetrators are held accountable, and victims receive the compassion, support, and justice they deserve. Vision Statement - End Violence Against Women International.
  13. All forms of violence against women must stop – from the use of rape as a weapon of war to the use of violence by a husband to terrorize his wife within her own home. – Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro
  14. There is never a reason for any man to be violent towards any woman. – Chris Harris, Host of The Bachelor
  15. Young men need to show women the respect they deserve and recognize sexual assault and to do their part to stop it. – U.S. President Barack Obama
  16. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead

Please share this message with friends via email, in your individual networks and on your social media platforms (Facebook| Instagram| Twitter, etc). 

Let us continue to participate from within our own safe spaces until we attain our goal of eradicating Violence Against Women!