The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign from 25 November to 10 December where individuals and organizations around the world call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls and other forms of violence based on gender.
Gender-based violence (GBV) affects more than 1 in 3 women over the course of a lifetime. Violence against women and girls has a significant toll not just on their wellbeing but also on their families across generations and societies more broadly. In some countries, violence against women is estimated to cost countries up to 3.7% of their GDP. During the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of violence against women increased, making sustained action to address drivers and consequences of violence a dire need.
GBV is a major barrier to building human capital. GBV has far-reaching negative implications for survivors, their families, and society as a whole. GBV is linked to negative health consequences for survivors, including injuries, mental health problems, a higher rate of substance abuse, and poorer sexual and reproductive health outcomes.
The good news is that we know that GBV is preventable, and the evidence shows that changing social norms is key. Preventing GBV requires holistic, multi-sectoral approaches that seek to address violence and change social norms and attitudes at all levels of society.