English Site French Site Spanish Site Russian Site Arabic Site Chinese Site OHCHR header
Make a donation to OHCHR

2013 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence

Protestors © EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence against Women

25 November - 10 December 2013

“Eliminating violence against women necessarily encompasses measures to empower women to stand for their own rights, make decisions on their lives and participate fully in the life of their communities. Preventing violence from happening in the first place must be central to any strategy to eliminate violence against women.”

UN Human Rights Chief, Navi Pillay

The annual 16 days of activism against gender based violence campaign—from 25 November to 10 December 2013—calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and invites the international community to take action against it. It is also an opportunity to raise awareness of gender based violence at the local, regional, and global levels. The 16 days of activism serves as a global platform for sharing the real stories of gender based violence as a way of inspiring change, solidarity and action.

This year’s theme “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence against Women,” will focus on three areas:

  • violence perpetrated by State actors;
  • domestic violence and role of small arms;
  • and sexual violence during and after violence.

The campaign begins on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November) and ends on Human Rights Day (10 December). 

Over the past 20 years, key advancements have been made in the fight against gender based violence. The 16 Days of Activism campaign will integrate the 2013 theme in the broader context of the 20th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA), which was adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights. The VDPA played an instrumental role in advancing the women’s rights agenda and recognizing VAW as a human rights issue.

A Google+ hangout on the role of small arms in gender-based violence took place on 20 November 2013. The discussion highlighted some of the challenges and recommendations concerning the nexus between small arms, militarization and gender-based violence. Read more about the topic and the participants in the concept note, and watch the recording below:


Activities around the world

Côte d’Ivoire

In Côte d’Ivoire, informational sessions on gender-based violence for adults and children were organized by a local NGO, Solidarité Initiative d’Action Maternelle (SIAM). The movie ‘L’otage’, produced by the Human Rights Division, was screened to the participants and copies of international human rights instruments were also distributed.


In Honduras, a public information campaign, El Valiente no es Violento (“The Brave is not Violent”), was launched to highlight the key role of men and boys in putting an end to violence against women. The campaign encompasses a wide array of media including television, radio, billboards, posters, books and pens. The campaign is a United Nations interagency effort.


In the Maldives, the ThinankunEkeh (“One in three”) campaign continues for its fourth consecutive year. “One in three” signifies the prevalence of violence against women in the Maldives.  Originally launched in 2010 to advocate for the passage of the Domestic Violence Act that was eventually adopted into law in April 2012, the campaign continues to raise awareness of the issue of violence against women. This year’s variation, ThinakunEkeh: GanooneeKusheh, shifts the focus from victims to perpetrators, highlighting the role of men and boys in preventing violence against women, the criminal nature of domestic violence and the ways in which it affects families.  Planned activities include: nationwide distribution of informational leaflets about the 16 Days campaign and how people can get involved; billboards; information and conversations on mainstream and social media; a public performance; and distribution of stickers and posters.


In Tunisia, various activities around the theme of ending violence against women have been planned, including: coaching and support for media professionals to organize national and regional radio and television programs; an art contest for youth in primary and secondary schools; training for students from the École Numérique at Manouba University who will cover various activities planned by civil society for the 16 days and provide multimedia updates to the '16 days of activism - Tunisia' Facebook and web pages ; an SMS messaging campaign and an infographic on trends and patterns of violence against women in Tunisia; and a locally based awareness campaign to promote the CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women,  organized by civil society with the support of OHCHR Tunisia on 6 and 7 December in Tozeur.


Learn more

Information Note
The information note offers more insight into this year’s theme

Violence against women is never "deserved" but simply and totally unacceptable, the UN rights chief says for International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Feature stories on women and gender-based violence

Women’s Rights and Gender Section

Get involved

Spread the word about the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence using the #16days hashtag in your tweets.

UN Human Rights Council on Facebook UN Human Rights Council on Twitter UN Human Rights Council on YouTube UN Human Rights Council on Flickr Google+