16 Days Campaign

Center for Women's Global Leadership

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the 16 Days Campaign?
  2. How did the campaign get its name, and why does it last for 16 days?
  3. Who started the 16 Days Campaign?
  4. What is the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL)?
  5. Who participates in the 16 Days Campaign?
  6. How can I get involved with the 16 Days Campaign?
  7. What kinds of activities take place during the 16 Days Campaign?
  8. How can I find a group near me that is working on the 16 Days Campaign?
  9. Are there any resources or materials available about the 16 Days Campaign?
  10. How do I get 16 Days Campaign materials?
  11. Who can I contact to find out more about the campaign?
  12. Where can I get funding for 16 Days Campaign activities? Does CWGL provide funds?
  13. How can men get involved in the 16 Days Campaign?
  14. What if I’m planning a 16 Days Campaign event on gender-based violence, but it is not related to the international theme this year? Can I still participate in the 16 Days Campaign?
  15. I am a victim/survivor of gender-based violence. Where can I go to get help?
  16. Who do I contact to report gender-violence issues and human rights abuses occurring in my country?

 

1.  What is the 16 Days Campaign?

    The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is a global campaign dedicated to ending gender-based violence.  The Center for Women’s Global Leadership is the global coordinator.  The start and end dates of the Campaign are November 25th, International Day for the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence, and December 10th, Human Rights Day.  These dates were chosen to emphasize that gender-based violence is a violation of human rights.  The Campaign is successful because of the activism of millions of women and tens of thousands of organizations worldwide, who are committed to ending gender-based violence

    The 16 Days Campaign is a global initiative that seeks to: raise awareness at the local, national and international levels regarding violence against women, strengthen local work, link local and global activism, provide a forum for dialogue and strategy-sharing, pressure governments to implement the commitments they have made in national and international legal instruments, and demonstrate the solidarity of activists around the world.

    The 16 Days Campaign takes shape from local, national, regional and international initiatives around the world; it is not a single event in any one location. As the international coordinator of the campaign, CWGL provides campaign materials, serves as a hub for information and networking on violence against women, and compiles the International Calendar of Campaign Activities each year.

     

    2. How did the campaign get its name, and why does it last for 16 days?

      The annual “16 Days Campaign” spans the 16-day period between International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25) and International Human Rights Day (December 10) to make the symbolic statement that violence against women is a violation of human rights. This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. To learn more about these days, read the “Key Dates” document in the Take Action Kit.

       

      3. Who started the 16 Days Campaign?

        In 1991, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership convened the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute (WGLI). The 23 participants came from different countries in all of the world’s regions and were drawn from a variety of fields - lawyers, policymakers, teachers, health care workers, researchers, journalists, and activists. During the WGLI, participants discussed different aspects of gender-based violence and human rights, learning from one another’s experiences and consequently developing strategies to increase international awareness of the systemic nature of violence against women and to expose this violence as a violation of women’s human rights. As one strategy to build awareness about gender-based violence and facilitate networking among women leaders working in this area, the WGLI participants established the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign. While the United Nations now recognizes the 16 Days Campaign, the campaign originated as an effort led by civil society. To learn more about the initiation of the campaign, continue reading about the Activist Origins of 16 Days.

         

        4. What is the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL)?

          The Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL), founded in 1989, develops and facilitates women's leadership for women's human rights and social justice worldwide. Based at Rutgers University, CWGL is part of the School of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the Institute for Women's Leadership (IWL).

          CWGL has fostered women's leadership in the area of human rights through women's global leadership institutes, strategic planning activities, international mobilization campaigns, UN monitoring, global education endeavors, publications, and a resource center. CWGL works from a human rights perspective with an emphasis on violence against women, sexual and reproductive health and socio-economic well-being. CWGL's programs are in two broad areas of policy & advocacy and leadership development & women's human rights education. More information can found on our website at http://www.cwgl.rutgers.edu/.

           

          5. Who participates in the 16 Days Campaign?

            Since 1991, over 4,114 organizations in approximately 172 countries have participated in the 16 Days Campaign. Any organization, agency, group or individual can participate in the 16 Days Campaign. Each year during the campaign, civil society organizations, advocates, activists, women human rights defenders, government agencies, corporate allies and businesses, UN staff, charities, schools, university organizations, service-providers, interest groups, and individuals plan local events and awareness-raising activities focused on gender-based violence.

             

            6. How can I get involved with the 16 Days Campaign?

             

              16 Days Campaign events are organized each year by hundreds of organizations around the world. You can join or attend an already existing student, community, national or international initiative for the 16 Days or take actions on your own. For ideas about how to plan activities, see the “Guide for Planning Your Campaign” in the Take Action Kit.

              To be included as a participating organization and campaign partner, submit your planned activities to the International Calendar of Campaign Activities.  Your submissions will also enable the Center to refer other individuals and organizations that are interested in your activities to you.

              Individuals and groups are also invited to join the 16 Days Campaign electronic discussion listserve. This listserve is a forum for sharing information on the 16 Days Campaign and global efforts to end violence against women. To join the discussion, subscribe here.

              CWGL also relies on volunteer translators for additional translations of campaign materials. If you are interested in assisting with translating documents to make the campaign more accessible to activists around the world, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

               

              7. What kinds of activities take place during the 16 Days Campaign?

              Events organized for the 16 Days Campaign take a variety of forms including, but not limited to protests, rallies, marches, art exhibitions, political lobbying, theater performances, vigils, roundtable discussions, film screenings, fundraisers for local domestic violence shelters, letter writing campaigns, workshops, support groups, street theater, trainings in schools, media campaigns, and petition signing.  To see a list of events from the most recent or upcoming campaign, see the International Calendar of Campaign Activities.

                 

                8. How can I find a group near me that is working on the 16 Days Campaign?

                  Our website will soon have a section where you can search for groups that have participated in the 16 Days Campaign in an area near you. In the meantime, please see the campaign calendars from previous years or write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

                   

                  9. Are there any resources or materials available about the 16 Days Campaign?

                    Yes! The Center for Women’s Global Leadership produces a Take Action Kit in English, Spanish and French each year. The kit includes details about the theme, background information about the campaign, and tips for planning your activities. Some additional volunteer translations of the campaign documents are usually available. CWGL may also have limited quantities of campaigning materials, such as posters, stickers and other promotional items.

                     

                    10. How do I get 16 Days Campaign materials?

                    The Take Action Kit is available for download in PDF and Microsoft Word formats from our website. You can also request a hard copy of the kit in English, French or Spanish by completing the Take Action Kit Request form.

                     

                    11. Who can I contact to find out more about the campaign?

                    Most of the information relating to the 16 Days Campaign can be found on our website, but further inquiries can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . CWGL’s main contact information is listed at the bottom of each page on the website.

                     

                    12. Where can I get funding for 16 Days Campaign activities? Does CWGL provide funds?

                    Unfortunately, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership does not have any funds or grants to provide to organizations planning 16 Days activities. However, we make an effort to compile and update a list of potential funding sources each year. You may also consider reaching out to and partnering with other organizations in your country that are planning 16 Days Campaign activities.

                     

                    13. How can men get involved in the 16 Days Campaign?

                    There are many men involved in the 16 Days Campaign; anyone who supports the work to end violence against women and promote women’s leadership is encouraged to participate. If you would like further information on how men can get involved with the 16 Days Campaign, there are a variety of resources and initiatives listed in the Resource page - Involving Men & Boys. In particular, the White Ribbon Campaign seeks to engage men in ending violence against women.

                     

                    14. What if I’m planning a 16 Days Campaign event on gender-based violence, but it is not related to the international theme this year? Can I still participate in the 16 Days Campaign?

                    Absolutely! The international theme is chosen in consultation with women’s human rights advocates around the world each year and reflects issues that we believe are important and widely relevant. However, we encourage groups to use the 16 Days Campaign as an opportunity to work on issues that are the most relevant and pressing in their communities. Using the international campaign theme is not a requirement for participating in the campaign, and we encourage all groups to submit information about their activities.

                     

                    15. I am a victim/survivor of gender-based violence. Where can I go to get help?

                    Hot Peach Pages provides an international directory of abuse hotlines, shelters, crisis centres, refuges, women’s organizations and domestic violence organizations.

                     

                    16. Who do I contact to report gender-violence issues and human rights abuses occurring in my country?

                    If you or someone you know has been abused or has been a victim of violence, the first place to contact is a local hotline, shelter, crisis centre, refuge, women’s organization or domestic violence organization. If you are unsure about where to go, Hot Peach Pages provides an international directory of service-providers. You may also consider contacting the local police or authorities to report the crime.

                    If you are not confident that the authorities in your country will address the violations or if the violations are widespread and have been taking place with impunity, you can file a complaint with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences. The Special Rapporteur transmits urgent appeals and allegation letters to States regarding alleged cases of violence against women which she receives. Allegations may concern one or more individuals or may convey information relating to a general prevailing situation condoning and/or perpetrating violence against women. For more information, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Women/SRWomen/Pages/Complaints.aspx.

                     

                    Contact Us

                    Center for Women's Global Leadership

                    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
                    160 Ryders Lane New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8555 USA
                    Tel: +1 732-932-8782 Fax: +1 732-932-1180
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