Women from Caicaoan village, Uganda, collecting water. Photo: Geoff Sayer/Oxfam

16 Days of Activism against violence against women

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign to raise awareness about violence against women and take action to eliminate it.

Image: 1 in 3 women face violence.Every year, the 16-day long campaign begins on November 25, the International Day Against Violence Against Women.

Women’s rights activists first recognized this in 1981, as a day against violence, in memory of three sisters who were assassinated for opposing the dictatorship in the Domincan Republic.

The 16 Days, ending on December 10, highlight the link between violence against women and the recognition that women’s rights are human rights.

Since 1991 approximately 1370 organizations in 137 countries have participated in the 16 Days of Activism. Many women’s rights organizations focus on the 16 Days as a time to build awareness within communities and amongst legislators to make an impact on ending violence against women.

16 Days of Activism global events calendar 2013




At Oxfam, we understand violence against women (VAW) as a violation of women’s rights, a barrier to women’s active citizenship, and hence, a fundamental constraint to poverty alleviation. Oxfam organizes with and offers support to women’s organizations and others celebrating the gains made on VAW, and pushing hard for promises yet to be fulfilled.

Read our 16 Days wrap-up where we ask: What will it take to end violence against women and girls?

We also encourage more men to take a stand in the fight against violence against women. We believe that men have a crucial role to play in ending violence against women. For the last two years we've been working with men's groups in Lebanon, Jordan, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and the Kurdistan region of Iraq. This video shows our VAW work in the Middle East:





Read the blog: From shadow into light: tackling gender violence through photography

Resources for 16 Days of Activism

Read more about the 16 Days of Activism from these organizations

More resources about ending violence against women

Download: Ending Violence Against Women: An Oxfam Guide

New Oxfam guidelines: Minimum Standards for Gender in Emergencies

More publications on Violence Against Women in Emergencies (Oxfam GB)

Check out our Women and gender equality Pinterest board

Join the discussion on our Gender Justice Blog

You may also like

Oxfam's Rubik's cube.
How we fight poverty

The injustice of poverty demands a powerful and practical response to address both its causes and its impact on peoples' lives. We use a six-sided strategy.

Women rally for their rights. Photo: Oxfam
Gender justice

Discrimination and injustice are major causes of poverty worldwide. And ensuring women and men benefit equally from our work is a vital part of what we do.

Permalink: http://oxf.am/wia