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16 Days of Activism 2021: Everything you need to know

Violence in our society is often the symptom of deeper social problems. Enduring violence and abuse are the reality of many South Africans which, together, we can change by standing up and speaking out, especially for women and children.

The powerful theme of this year’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign (16 Days of Activism Campaign) is “The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke – 16 Days of Activism – moving from awareness to accountability”.

Forming part of the United Nations’ global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence initiative, the campaign takes place annually from 25 November (International Day of No Violence against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day). Other key commemorative days during this period include World Aids Day on 1 December and the International Day for Persons with Disabilities on 3 December.

During the 16-day period, the South African Government, together with civil society and the private sector, will host a series of community and sector dialogues and activities to foster a collaborative effort in dealing with gender-based violence and femicide.

Unisa’s contribution to the national campaign, themed “Victim-Survivors of Gender-Based Violence, Femicide and Trafficking” also launches on 25 November – click here to access the programme. The launch is facilitated by Unisa’s Institute for Gender Studies and Department of Leadership and Transformation.

How you can play your part as an activist

  • Reject and report abusers. Act, and don’t look away!
  • Do not protect abusers, report them!
  • Sign the Pledge Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Do not engage in abusive activities and become an abuser – stop abuse.
  • Challenge and denounce cultural practices that perpetuate gender inequalities
  • Be sensitive and supportive to GBV victims - share helpful information and support causes near you.
  • Seek personal help to change harmful behaviours such as alcohol and substance abuse.
  • Teach children values of gender equality.
  • Protect children from exposure to violence and harmful content on the internet and social media, including pornography and sexual solicitation.
  • Develop policies that prevent and deal with gender-based violence in your sector, workplace and community.
  • Organise targeted community outreach programmes and dialogues to help createo a gender-equal society.

* Compiled by Philip van der Merwe, Editor, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2021/12/02