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16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM – UNITE Campaign to End Violence Against Women & Girls

The UN in South Africa will undertake activities to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism – UNiTE Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Girls and raise awareness. Join us and be part of the global movement to protect and empower women and girls.


The16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day). This year’s UNiTE campaign theme is Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls and will focus on different prevention strategies to stop violence from occurring in the first place. It will leverage key global normative and advocacy platforms to build momentum and galvanize collective efforts to prevent violence against women and to raise more investments in the cause. In support of this civil society initiative, under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women initiative (UNiTE), calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations to end VAWG once and for all.

The campaign seeks to shed light on these issues, challenge societal norms and attitudes that perpetuate such violence, and advocate for the rights and safety of women and girls. It emphasizes that violence against women is not limited to a specific country, culture, or community; it is a global issue that affects women from all walks of life. The colour orange is often used as a symbol of the campaign, with the “Orange the World” initiative encouraging people and buildings to be illuminated in orange to show support for ending gender-based violence.

This year’s activities are also designed to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR75)

For 75 years, the core ambition of the Declaration has been to infuse societies with equality, fundamental freedoms and justice. It enshrines the rights of all human beings and is a global blueprint for international, national, and local laws and policies and a bedrock of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. On Human Rights Day, 10 December 2023, we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Declaration, a milestone celebration called Human Rights 75 (HR 75). Human Rights Day will capture all the moments from this year’s commemoration and seeks to increase knowledge on the universality and indivisibility of human rights, especially among young people, inspire people to create a movement of shared humanity while empowering them to fight for their rights and take action.

UN South Africa – 16 Days of Activism activities for 2023

Activity 1:  Donations to Shelter House for GBV Victims at Burgers Park:The UN and partners will collaborate with organizations such as the Potter’s House Shelter and GBV House to enhance their facilities, including painting the interior and providing outreach to gather donations such as clothing, books, furniture, etc. from UN staff and the public.  28 November 2023, PretoriaUN  Comms Group 
Activity 2: Community Engagement through Wall Painting:
Initiating community involvement by painting a prominent wall orange in the city such as the wall by Tshwane University of Technology. This wall can also be used to plant trees and convey a message about Gender-Based Violence.  
05 December 2023, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria  UN  Comms Group
Activity 3: SDGs Bootcamp for Youth – TUT Change Makers In this dynamic and empowering bootcamp, the UN and partners will dive deep into the world of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and explore how youth can become agents of change and assume their rightful role in achieving the SDGs by 2030. The bootcamp will be held in UNIC Library.06 December 2023,  UNIC Library,  Pretoria UN  Comms Group
Activity 4: Readout of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Film Screening: This event will involve the reading out of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the screening of a film relevant to human rights documentary.  10 December 2023,  Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria UN  Comms Group
Activity 5: Site visit to sites for Donor Funded (Canada) activities 28-30 November 2023,  Alfred Nzo District, Eastern Cape  UNFPA & UNICEF
Activity 6: Establishment of Rapid Response teams on GBV at ward level in identified districts28-30 November 2023, eThekwini Municipality, KZN UNFPA & UNICEF
Activity 7: Training of Rapid Response Teams on GBV prevention + response mechanisms in the districts from28-30 November 2023,  Afred Nzo (Eastern Cape) and Ugu district (KZN)UNFPA & UNICEF
Activity 8: Training of Master Rapid Response Teams on GBV prevention + response mechanisms-28-30 November 2023,  Ugu district, eThekwini, KZNUNFPA & UNICEF
Activity 9: Study:  Dissemination of the Cultural Practices Study and Rites of Passage that Adolescent Girls and Young Women go through in the three Joint UNFPA / UNICEF districts. 05 December 2023, PretoriaUNFPA & UNICEF
Activity 10: Online Campaign: Vox Pop videos of Web Rangers talking about what “No violence means for them in the online space”. One-Day Event at a school in JHB (date TBD)UNFPA & UNICEF
Activity 11: Dialogue: A dialogue on GBV prevention to be held with boys and young men.  23 November 2023 Nelson Mandela Bay UNICEF 
Activity 12: Dialogue: Intergeneration dialogue on GBV targeting boys and young men in partnership with Sonke Gender Justice. 29 November 2023 Alfred Nzou UNICEF 
Activity 13: Campaign: Launch of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign in partnership with the Thuthuzela Care Centre in Mbizana. 24 November 2023 Alfred Nzou UNICEF 
Activity 14:  Orange the World: In partnership with Young Women for Life UNW SAMCO will host an Orange the World highlighting work done to address harmful social norms driving GBV & HIV/AIDS 02 December 2023, Venue TBDUNWOMEN
Activity 15:  Recognition Awards: LOPECO supported by UNW SAMCO will host its 2023 awards recognising champions of ending violence against women and girls (children), and peacebuilders in communities  Time Square. 08 December.UNWOMEN
Activity 16:  Men’s Conference on Positive Masculinity: 3rd Men’s Conference on Positive Masculinity. “Consolidating Commitments Towards the African Union Convention on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls.” hosted by the African Union. Johannesburg. 27-28 November.UNWOMEN
Activity 17:  Ilitha Labantu SAPS GBV workshop: Workshop with South African Police Service (SAPS) on handling GBV cases at police stations in the Western Cape. Cape town. 01 December.UNWOMEN
Activity 18:  Community outreach: Support community base implementing partners to raise awareness about GBV in the community and in farms. Date: TBC IOM  
Activity 19:  Launch of skills development programme for the first Gender Responsive Prison for women in South Africa Date: TBC UNODC  
Activity 20:  16 Days of Activism. Activities undertaken on youth and female empowerment; celebration of female human rights defenders. 25 Nov- 08 December. UNHCR