What is 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence?

Cardiff Women's Aid
2 min readNov 17, 2021


16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign launched at the Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991. Running from the 25th of November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to the 10th of December (Human Rights Day), the campaign was created to highlight that gender-based violence is a violation of human rights.

As this year marks its 30th anniversary, “16 days” continues to be used as a tool to unify organisations, groups and individuals on a global scale, all calling for an end to violence against women and girls. More than 6000+ organisations in around 187 countries have participated in the campaign since it was first launched.

The Centre for Women’s Global Leadership continue to coordinate the campaign with aims to:

  • Raise awareness about gender-based violence
  • Support and develop local activism around gender-based violence
  • Link global and local activism
  • Unify organisations to help share effective strategies
  • Show global solidarity for the elimination of gender-based violence
  • Pressure governments to commit to ending gender-based violence

As a part of the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, led by UN Women, the theme “Orange the World” is also used as a call to action. The colour orange was chosen to represent a bright and positive future for women and girls, free of gender-based violence, and is used as a unifying theme across 16 days by UN Women and many other organisations.

If you are looking for a way to get involved in the campaign we are asking you to take a few steps to help #OrangeTheWorld and show your support:

  1. Wear something orange on the 25th of November.
  2. Post a picture to social media — be sure to tag us and use the hashtag #OrangeTheWorld.
  3. Donate what you can to help sustain our services and support the elimination of violence against women.

For our theme this year, we are focussing on activism and sustainability. This past year has been tough in the fight against gender-based violence with rises in the number of reported rapes, numerous high profile murders and global protests for women’s rights. Pairing this with the weight of the pandemic, and the effect this has had on global mental health, it is more important than ever to make sure that we are looking after ourselves and engaging with activism in a way that is positive and sustainable.

We will be sharing more about this in the upcoming weeks so keep your eyes peeled on our social media for all things 16 days, discussions on sustainable activism and self care tips. We are also running a few support groups and workshops so check out our Eventbrite for the details and be sure to join us if you can!