16 Days of Activism

Tuesday 1 December 2020


16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence is an annual international campaign. It is used as an organizing call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. This year's global theme is "Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!" — a global call to action to 'bridge funding gaps, ensure essential services for survivors of violence during the COVID-19 crisis, focus on prevention, and collection of data that can improve life-saving services for women and girls.'

COVID-19 will continue to have devastating impacts for gender equality. Pressingly, COVID-19 is increasing the risks and incidents of child marriage—a form of gender-based violence. This is a symptom of disrupted protection programs, school closures, and economic pressures. An additional 2.5 million girls will be at risk of child marriage by 2025—halting and reversing 25 years of progress.

While girls continue to use their knowledge and experience to advocate for themselves and others, leaders now need to step up to ensure progress is not curtailed. Namely, over the next year, plans are being made to accelerate progress for gender equality through the #GenerationEquality processes. These processes mark the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Through #GenerationEquality, officials at all levels should make concrete, tangible policy commitments to combatting gender-based violence broadly and in the context of COVID-19. The most effective policy strategies will also include girls' participation and allow governments and girls to work together. Governments must listen to and be accountable to girls and girls' rights—especially in light of increasing risks of gender-based violence.This is exactly why, it is essential to start prioritizing girls' voices. Girls around the world know what they want and need. They have the right to claim the space and tools to demand and realize their rights and to live free from violence. 16 Days is an opportunity show what progress towards ending child marriage and gender-based violence can look like when adolescent girls are at the center.


For further information regarding the implicit effects of COVID-19 on the rights of the girls, please, see our "Global Girlhood Report"