25 Years of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence

November 2016

Gender-based violence is a global human rights issue that has prompted world-wide attention and action for over 25 years.

From Nov. 25th (International Day Against Violence against Women) to Dec. 10th (International Human Rights Day), organizations across Canada, and around the world, will participate in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.

This global event was established in 1991 following the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute (WGLI). The 16 Days of Activism were one of many strategies used to raise awareness about gender-based violence (GBV) and to highlight GBV as a human rights issue. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the global campaign. The theme for 2016 is From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All.

In Canada, the 16 Days of Activism also includes the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on Dec. 6. This day is in remembrance of the 14 women who lost their lives at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1989.

While much has changed in the past 25 years since the start of 16 Days of Activism, there is still much more to do. On Nov. 18th, the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (CEDAW) released a report on the situation of gender equality and gender-based discrimination in Canada. The report recognizes the progress made in recent years, while also highlights several areas of concern, particularly the high prevalence of gender-based violence towards women, and predominately Indigenous women.

The 16 Days of Activism are a time for awareness and action. Across Canada, organizations are hosting events to raise awareness. To learn more or to find an event near you, visit Women in International Security Canada (WIIS-Canada).

Show your support to #EndVAW during the #16Days.