16 days of activism against gender-based violence

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991. The dates, November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women and December 10, International Human Rights Day, were chosen in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights.

The world adopted the White Ribbon as symbol that violence against women is unacceptable and since 1991, the commemoration has been extended into the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence to draw the world's attention to the fact that women's rights are fundamental human rights.

ACORD's research history in the area of women's rights dates back long before 1991. ACORD has made several notable contributions in these areas through programme implementation, local, Pan African and international advocacy work drawing from its numerous researches and related publications such as 'Protection and Restitution for Survivors of Sexual Violence'; 'Gender Sensitive Programme Design and Planning in Conflict-affected situations'; 'Cycles of Violence; Gender Relations and Armed Conflict' and 'A lost Generation: Young People and Conflict in Africa'.

From 2006, ACORD has given priority to sexual and gender based violence in conflict and post-conflict societies as the focus for its gender work. The goal of this emphasis was to facilitate the development of a culture of effective and efficient gender justice in the states that are in, or have emerged from conflict. ACORD does this by challenging impunity and bringing perpetrators of sexual and gender based crimes to justice while restoring the health and livelihoods of women and girls survivors.

These initiatives are being supported by many governments, UN agencies, donors and individuals. This is directed towards implementing its proven methodology to protect women and girls in situations of conflict and to provide them with psychosocial support, sustainable livelihoods and legal support to seek justice, while actively advocating for the rights of women and strategic litigation at regional and Pan African level, and making the voice of African women heard at the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women (57th session to be held in New-York from 4th to 15th March 2013).

From 25th November to 10th December 2012, the 16 Days Campaign will continue with the global theme: 'From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let's Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women'. ACORD's campaign My body, my rights! marks our third year of advocacy on the key linkages between gender-based violence, militarism and impunity on crimes committed in times of conflict.

The 16 Days Campaign is commemorated across Africa including in Burundi, Chad, Congo DR, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda. This is done through raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, Pan African and international levels, strengthening local work around violence against women and girls, creating space for women and girls to make their voices heard at national level and beyond, demonstrating the solidarity of women and girls across Africa and around the world, creating tools to hold governments accountable for the implementation of promises made to eliminate violence against women and girls.

As a concrete example of our work to end violence against women, we recently produced a documentary 'Challenging and Healing Hidden War Crimes' that has been nominated at the 2012 Kalasha Awards , Kenya's first film and TV Awards, and encourage our media comrades to broadcast it widely during those 16 Days of activism.

The ACORD 'Challenging and Healing Hidden War Crimes' documentary aims to show why tackling sexual and gender based violence requires a holistic methodology from encompassing awareness creation, soliciting political will, changing laws, arresting perpetrators, to healing and the economic empowerment of women survivors. This cannot be achieved without changing attitudes in society.

The documentary is available in English and French. The film was also recently screened at a forum "Women Moving Mountains" hosted by the Dutch Government in the Hague for its partners in promoting gender equality across the globe, including from Asia and Latin America as well.

Watch the film !
Vote for 'Challenging Hidden War Crimes' !

You can write to ACORD through - communications@acordinternational.org - for more information and if you wish to broadcast it so that we provide you with the high-resolution film. You can also read more about ACORD's work on women`s rights.

Violence is the last recourse of the incompetent.
ACORD. Defending rights. Promoting justice.

  • girls
  • sexual violence
  • women