16 Days of Activism – a snapshot of actions across MenEngage

25 November until 10 December is an important period for networks and members of MenEngage Alliance. For many, the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence Against Women is an important time of additional activism, action, campaigning, and events in support of feminist-led efforts to end violence against all women and girls.

In this article, we look at some of the campaigns and activities that took place in 2022 – particularly by MenEngage Alliance members, networks, and partners. While this is not an exhaustive list, it aims to provide a snapshot of the kinds of activism taking place during the 16 Days campaign with a focus on transforming patriarchal masculnities and working with men and boys for gender justice.

If you know about a relevant activity that is not included here, please email admin@menengage.org.

Working with men and boys during 16 Days of Activism

The 16 Days campaign begins with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, on 25 November each year. It runs until 10 December, which is International Human Rights Day.

With a focus on transforming patriarchal masculinities, many members of MenEngage Alliance ramp up their efforts at prevention strategies with men and boys during 16 Days of Activism. It is a springboard for the continuing advocacy and actions throughout the year to prevent and end men’s violence against all women and girls, and to dismantle the patriarchal norms, behaviors and systems that underpin it.

Tweet by MenEngage Madagascar

As part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women, MenEngage Madagascar organized a youth symposium. The event took place on December 3rd, 2022, in Mahabo, Morondava as a day of capacity building for gender equality.

Instagram post by MenEngage Alliance South Asia that reads: Let’s talk about #consent and create wider awareness during this 16 days of activism against #GBV. Happening on Tuesday (29) from 3:30pm local time. Registration link in the profile #GBV #16daysofactivism #southasia #youth #advocacy #activism

MenEngage Alliance South Asia focussed on the topic of consent for their ‘Championing Change Through Advocacy session’ to coincide with the 16 Days of Activism, noting that poor awareness around consent is a key factor in violence against women and girls.

Instagram post by Beyond Equality that reads: We are hosting special online gatherings with men all around the world for our 16 Days of Reflection and Action Challenge. We will be there to chat, answer questions and connect with you. Anyone can join! | DEC Friday 2nd & 9th, 12pm at https://bit.ly/BECommunity16days

UK-based Beyond Equality, a member of MenEngage Europe, challenged its community to take part in 16 Days of Reflection and Action. This included online community circles, and a daily email throughout the campaign with tips, tools, resources, and actions to take.

A tweet by MenEngage Kenya that says: Don't Standby but Take Action to #EndFGM and #EndChildMarriage #16DaysofActivism2022 #VijanaBora #BabaBora

Kenya MenEngage Alliance called on its community to not stand by, but to take action on ending FGM this #16Days

Facebook post with three images from a classroom launch event, and the text: EDUCATION CENTRAL TO PREVENTING AND RESPONDING TO GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE — WHITE RIBBON SCHOOLS PROGRAMME LAUNCHED Fantastic to see such a positive response to this morning's International #WhiteRibbonDay Information Event and Panel Discussion in Carmichael Ireland, Dublin, about our new White Ribbon Campaign Ireland Pilot Programme focused on School-Related Gender-Based Violence. Forty teachers, management personnel, support staff, frontline service providers and community development organisations are attending today's launch, which was opened with contributions from MDN's Head of Programmes and Advocacy, Colm Kelly Ryan, and Antoinette Doran (also pictured), who is Head of the Criminal Justice, Penal Policy and Victims’ Rights Content and Events Team in the Transparency Function of Department of Justice Ireland.

To coincide with #WhiteRibbonDay, which falls on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls and the start of 16 Days of Activism, Men’s Development Network hosted an information event and panel discussion to launch a new secondary schools program for preventing GBV in schools in Ireland.

Screenshot of tweet by MenEngage Democratic Republic of the Congo that has an image which has a purple background and an orange open palm print in the center with text over it that says in French: Stop gender-based violence. It is vital that everyone plays their part in exposing abusers. Only by working together can we end gender-based violence.

 For the #16DaysofActivism, MenEngage DRC called upon their community to work together to end gender-based violence and hold abusers accountable.

Screenshot of post by Burundi MenEngage which says: Burundi MenEngage participates in the launch of the 16 days of Activism against violence against women and girls. The post has attached three images of the event; one with a woman and two men dressed in orange t-shirts posing for the camera while holding Burundi MenEngage pamphlets, another with the same individuals sitting and smiling towards the camera and finally, the photo of chairs under a tent with a banner on it that says: Decision-makers and leaders, your role is essential to making care services available and accessible to victims of gender-based violence.

Burundi MenEngage attended an event launch which observed the #16DaysofActivism campaign to end violence against women and girls.

Tweet with video. Accompanying text reads: #internationalHumanRightsDay. 𝐃𝐢𝐠𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲, 𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐉𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐀𝐥𝐥. We stand against all human rights violations, including violence against women and girls. on this human rights day, join the world to #EndGBV #EndWAWG

MenEngage Cameroon spoke up for human rights, including the rights of women and girls to live lives free of violence, on human rights day – the final day of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. 

Campaigns by feminist partners

Screenshot of tweet by ABAAD that says: #NoBlameNoShame in Arabic with an image of Women Human Rights Defenders protesting in a public space with white t-shirts that display stories of GBV by survivors written in red.

For the 16 Days of Activism, @AbaadMENA ran the #NoShameNoBlame campaign to bring justice to every survivor and victim of sexual assault by lobbying with parliamentary blocs to submit the proposed legal amendments of Chapter Seven of the Lebanese Penal Code.

Instagram post by Crea with a graphic that reads: your protection doesn't protect me. The accompanying post reads: 'To fight for lives free from violence is to demand for rights over protection. Often, laws, policies, attitudes and practices that come under the guise of ‘protection’ are promoted as the primary solution to end gender-based violence (GBV). But, protectionist laws and policies do little to prevent GBV but rather place structurally excluded groups like women and girls, people with disabilities, and persons of diverse sexualities, genders and sex characteristics at a higher risk of violence by restricting their human rights, freedoms and bodily autonomy.'

To mark the #16DaysOfActivism2022 the #WomenGainingGround Consortium – CREA, @IWRAW_AP & @AkiliDada continued its #ProtectionDoesntProtect campaign from last year. The campaign emphasizes that policies and laws that come under the guise of ‘protection’ but in fact increase vulnerabilities.

Facebook post by Global South Coalition for Dignified Menstruation that says: GSCDM would like to encourage you to join the Hybrid Conference on Dignified Menstruation VIRTUALLY on December 8, 2022, on the occasion of the 4th International Day on Dignified Menstruation.

The Global South Coalition for Dignified Menstruation (GSCDM) and its partners and network members led a campaign calling for December 8 to be formally recognized as International Dignified Menstruation Day (IDM), as a key date within the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.

IDM 2022, which is in its 4th year of observance, was launched with the theme “Dignified Menstruation for Ending Child Marriage” because menstrual discrimination is a key driver of child marriage globally.

Creative campaigns aimed at men and boys and inspired by 16 Days of Activism

16 Days of Activism is an opportunity to bring men and boys into the movement as active and accountable allies against violence and oppression. Through creative campaigns, members and partners of MenEngage Alliance are able to promote equitable gender norms—particularly to male audiences—that are needed to end gender-based violence across all levels of society.

Screenshot of post by Work with Perpetrators European Network that says: Over the #16Days, Alessandro from Italy, Fatjon from Albania and Victor from Ukraine will share their experiences about having

Work with Perpetrators European Network launched their #TeachRespect campaign during the #16DaysofActivism which featured the stories of four fathers who are nurturing positive relationships with their children and teaching them children about how to treat others well and realize when they are being mistreated

Their website has a vast number of great materials aimed at boys and men on relationships, consent etc as well as parenting resources on topics pertaining to puberty, sex education, navigating the internet safely, etc

Tweet featuring a photo of a person and the text: “I’ve learnt a lot from @rwamrec’s interventions. The lessons have improved the way I preach especially while addressing topics on peace & harmony. It’s our job as religious leaders & faith-based actors to fight GBV & incorporate it in our sermons”.

Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre (RWAMREC) shared personal testimonies of gender-transformative change via their Twitter page during #16Days. The organization also supported a youth mobilization demonstration in the streets.

Tweet with image of a father holding his new baby. The post reads: '66% of Canadian men say that having a daughter has changed how they feel about the issues women face in society. In many cases, this is because they know first-hand the way they, or other men, have behaved towards women.'

White Ribbon Campaign, Canada, launched a short film and campaign called I Knew All Along during this year’s 16 Days of Activism.  The film explores a dad’s anxieties around raising a daughter. The film is told through a reflection of his past that reveals his own problematic behavior towards women.

Screenshot of tweet by White Ribbon UK tweet that says: It's #HumanRightsDay, the last day of the #16DaysOfActivismAgainstGBV. We encourage all men & boys watching #francevsengland to take 3 min. to read this message from White Ribbon Ambassador, David Jiles, about sexism in football - one colossal issue.

White Ribbon UK ran a campaign based on the fact that 16 Days of Activism coincided with the FIFA men’s World Cup. Using the hashtag #TheGoal, White Ribbon UK …across social media and traditional advertising

Screenshot of the video, with someone speaking to camera.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Guatemala published this video for #16DaysOfActivism in which men call for the need to recognize, question, and dismantle the negative and restrictive norms around masculinity that are linked to violence against women and girls.

Tweet by Southwark Council in the UK that reads: We need men and boys to see through a girl’s eyes. Once they see what it means to face sexual harassment every day, they can stop it #WhiteRibbonDay https://orlo.uk/A8e4B

This video by a local authority in the UK aims to help make women’s and girls’ experiences more visible to boys and men 

More information about 16 Days of Activism

Did you know of a #16Days activity or campaign relevant to transforming patriarchal masculinities and working with men and boys for gender justice that could be featured here? If so, please email admin@menengage.org

Key dates that fall within the 16 Days of Activism are:

  • Women Human Rights Defenders Day, 29 November
  • World AIDS Day, 1 December
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3rd December
  • International Dignified Menstruation Day, 8 December
  • The anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, an anti-feminist and anti-women mass killing that took place in Montreal on 6 December, 1991.
  • Human Rights Day, 10 December

This year’s 16 Days campaign highlighted the importance of an intersectional approach, recognizing the ‘heightened risk of femicide that is associated with multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination’. The campaign has produced factsheets with useful information about Indigenous Femicide, Black Femicide, Femicide in the World of Work, and Femicide due to Unsafe Abortions.


Cover illustration by Izabela Markova.

22 December 2022


16 Days of Activism 2021