Skip to content


South Africa recently participated in the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign, not many of us know the history and meaning behind the campaign.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign, which originates from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute, sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. Participants chose the dates November 25 as International Day Against Violence and Against Women and December 10 marks International Human Rights Day.

The dates of the campaign symbolically links violence against women and human rights to emphasise that such violence is a violation of human rights.

This year’s theme was “Count me in: Together moving a non-violent South Africa forward.” The aim was to:

  • Challenge the perpetrators of violence to change their behaviour.
  • Involve men in helping to eradicate violence.
  • Provide survivors with information on services and organisations that can help lessen the impact of violence on their lives
  • South Africans were urged to support the campaign by wearing a white ribbon – a symbol of peace – to symbolise their commitment to never commit or condone violence against women or children.
  • Other ways of supporting the campaign included:
  • Speaking out against woman and child abuse. Encouraging silent female victims to challenge abuse, and ensuring that they were helped. Reporting child abuse to the police immediately. Encouraging children to report bullying behaviour to school authorities.
  • Men are critical partners in the fight against the abuse of women and children. Men and boys were encouraged to talk about abuse and actively discourage abusive behaviour.
  • Families were to stick together to create a safe environment for women and children.
  • Parents and adults were encouraged to make sure that children are not exposed to inappropriate sexual and violent material.
  • Volunteers were inspired to give some time and energy in support of a non-governmental organisation or community group working in their area to help abused women and children. They were encouraged to use their life skills and knowledge to help support victims of abuse.
  • People could make donations to organisations working to end violence against women and children by making a contribution to the Foundation for Human Rights.
  • Engaging in online dialogues such as the Cyber Dialogues organised by Gender Links – see – which provides a platform to share issues and experiences and offer solutions, with experts participating in the online chats. Gender Links also offers way for people to support recent survivors or gender-based violence.

Last Updated on 19 December 2014 by HPCSA Corporate Affairs