For the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) from 25 November to 10 December 2022, UN Women teamed up with governments, civil society organizations (CSOs), the United Nations and other partners around the world to host events, raise awareness and galvanize people to take action.
Around the world: 16 Days of Activism
In Ethiopia, a photo exhibit highlighted religious institutions’ role in addressing GBV, and media were trained on sensitivity in covering conflict-related sexual violence. In Kenya, the Government committed to establish GBV recovery centres in all 47 counties; community radio takeovers blasted 16 Days messages to more than 3.5 million in 10 counties; and a collective of social media influencers reached another 1 million people online. Jaha Dukureh, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for Africa and renowned activist on female genital mutilation and child marriage, visited Liberia and screened her film “Jaha’s Promise”. An inter-generational dialogue in Malawi united seasoned young activists, women’s groups and chiefs to network, while more than 1,100 people participated in the national 16 Days launch, with traditional dances, poetry, theatre and a solidarity march led by the national police brass band. Women vendors and entrepreneurs at the Xiquelene market in Maputo, Mozambique learned how to open a bank account.
In Niger, 50 male taxi drivers criss-crossed the city of Niamey in an awareness-raising caravan while 32 journalists and bloggers were trained to lead a digital campaign against GBV. Rwanda raised awareness of GBV through mass sports events, while 200 people attended a GBV-themed football match in Sudan. In Uganda, parliamentarians reflected on the 16 Days as a special agenda item; a thought-provoking exhibition featured 16 mannequins in the clothing of Ugandan survivors of sexual violence; a series of videos with sign-language played on social media and national television; and local marches convened more than 1,000 people in Gulu, Kitgum Kotido and Moroto. The President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Vice-President of Zanzibar hosted 16 Days launch events while CSOs led a march in Dar es Salaam. In Zimbabwe, the #ViolenceFreeSpaces campaign mobilized university students and engaged men in the informal sector through conversations on buses, in markets and under tents.
In Egypt, the Ras El-Bar lighthouse in Damietta, where the Nile meets the Mediterranean, was lit orange using energy-saving lights, while high-level events highlighted the care economy and the role of the private sector in ensuring a safe workplace. Activities organized in Iraq included a theatrical performance, a film on GBV survivors, workshops and coffee conversations, with more than 200 people attending the 16 Days launch conference in Baghdad and another 200 attending the Let’s Talk conference in Erbil. UN Women and CSO Hawar.Help convened survivors of violence from Iraq and Syria with international legal experts at an event on ending impunity for conflict-related sexual violence. In Jordan, HeForShe Arabic activities included an art workshop and exhibit, while a 16 Days event hosted by HRH Princess Basma Bint Talal at an all-girls high school in Amman featured theatre and discussions around youth initiatives.
In Lebanon, a campaign featuring a short commercial in Arabic (with English subtitles) raised awareness on protecting women and girls from GBV, and was broadcast on television and social media, garnering more than 750,000 views. In Libya and Tunisia, an outreach event gathered key stakeholders to present mapped data about online violence in both countries and to create a road map to confront such violence, while a film depicting a day in the life of a survivor of online GBV was released in Tunisia. In Morocco, a women’s rights film festival and an online quiz raised awareness on GBV, while 16 visuals deconstructing sexist Moroccan expressions were produced and widely shared on social media. In the United Arab Emirates, a conference launched the new Arab Declaration to End all Forms of Violence against Women and Girls.
Asia and the Pacific
In Bangladesh, CSOs and international organizations bearing placards held a rally in Cox’s Bazar. In China, an interactive arts exhibition provided an immersive snapshot into the lives of four first responders: a lawyer, a social worker, an advocate and a GBV hotline volunteer. In Indonesia, stand-up comedy and a concert sought to mobilize youth against GBV; a newly released storybook featured women from six villages working to end GBV against migrant workers; and Indonesia’s Women’s Parliamentary Caucus signed a declaration calling for urgent action to end GBV in politics and public life. The UN Women Japan Liaison Office hosted online events, a movie screening and a poster exhibition. In Nepal, an art exhibit featured pieces based on the experiences of GBV survivors and advocates, and a joint UN event in Dhangadi included a reflective play, folk songs and a panel discussion.
An event celebrating women in Balochistan, Pakistan, highlighted services for women and the role of police in addressing GBV during floods. In Papua New Guinea, a Men’s Forum brought together male champions from the Highlands region, an area with high GBV rates; a high-level event emphasized the need to protect women human rights defenders; and a dialogue highlighted the concerns of women living with HIV/AIDS. In Thailand, 500+ orange-clad cyclists took to the streets of Bangkok in a Bike Run; a Youth Guide on Ending Online GBV was launched; and 22 thought-leaders from UN Women’s regional youth network ‘30 for 2030‘ hosted a live storytelling event via Zoom. In Viet Nam, hundreds of people donned orange T-shirts at Vung Tau’s bicycle ride and Ha Noi’s football festival; a One-Stop Service Centre for survivors was launched in Ho Chi Minh City; and around 5,000 people attended a street concert and arts exhibition.
Europe and Central Asia
An interactive map of femicides committed in Albania, Montenegro and Serbia was launched at a regional forum on GBV. Information corners on sexual violence were organized in five cities across Bosnia and Herzegovina with an e-brochure and online quiz to test visitors’ knowledge and legal experts and psychologists on-hand to answer questions. Kazakhstan hosted a multi-country multi-stakeholder dialogue on GBV; awareness-raising videos played on LED screens across Astana; and the “You are not alone” docudrama series was launched, featuring activists and human rights experts. In Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244), ministers, policymakers and women’s organizations attended an awareness-raising basketball game, joined by 2,200 fans. Kyrgyzstan issued the country’s first-ever ‘gender bonds‘ to grow women entrepreneurs’ businesses.
The Republic of Moldova hosted a youth training on combating sexualized bullying; a T-shirt-drawing masterclass engaged women refugees from Ukraine; and 20 youth danced in an Orange the World flashmob in Causeni. In Serbia, surveys and safety walks informed an exhibition reimagining one of Belgrade’s most-visited parks as a safe public space for women and girls. In Türkiye, the #SheSaidNo campaign kicked off with teaser videos and social media posts by national influencers and celebrities; nine posters were displayed on billboards across the country; and more than 45,000 Instagram users took an online quiz on GBV. UN Women Liaison Offices inaugurated a mural in Brussels, while in Geneva a graffiti designer live-tagged a giant world map at the Palais des Nations and invited diplomats to spray an orange ‘NO’ on their countries.
Latin America and the Caribbean
In Argentina, a UN campaign featured intersectional survivor testimonies; three podcasts highlighted the Mirabal sisters’ activism; and a campaign for a “Mercosur Free from Human Trafficking” was launched at a high-level regional meeting in Uruguay. Across Bolivia, 200 youth took part in flashmobs against GBV in La Paz, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba; a 12-episode radio soap opera on GBV prevention was broadcast in Spanish and Aymara by 100 rural radio stations; a faceless dolls exhibition raised awareness in Uncía and Chayanta; and four female comedians hosted a stand-up comedy show deconstructing GBV. In Brazil, 25 women human rights defenders discussed threats they face as well as protection, networking and advocacy strategies during a GBV ‘Situation Room’; and a report denounced GBV against indigenous Guarani and Kaiowá women. The UN Women Multi-Country Office for the Caribbean relaunched a 16-week psychosocial intervention programme for male perpetrators of GBV throughout the region.
In Colombia, events included local women’s marches and traffic-light takeovers in Batucada and Riohacha; candlelight vigils and mural painting in Pasto; a 5-km race convening nearly 1,000 runners in Popayán; a sit-in at Soledad City Hall; and a mobile health unit assisting women across Barranquilla. In El Salvador, a play ignited discussion on GBV, and an ‘Orange Fair’ presented multisectoral work to end GBV. In Honduras, more than 300 women took part in a march decrying GBV and femicide in La Ceiba, while seven young girls helped paint a mural in Tela. In Mexico, thousands marched through the capital; a UNiTE campaign TikTok video generated half a million views; GBV survivors met with Congresswomen; and femicide victims were honoured at an event at the Mexican Senate.iIn Venezuela, journalists were trained on covering GBV while a forum sought to expand knowledge among justice officials at the Supreme Court.
See more photos from even more events on Flickr.