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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kenya MenEngage Alliance called on its community to not stand by, but to take action on ending FGM this #16Days
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.
For the #16DaysofActivism, MenEngage DRC called upon their community to work together to end gender-based violence and hold abusers accountable.
Burundi MenEngage attended an event launch which observed the #16DaysofActivism campaign to end violence against women and girls.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.