skip to Main Content

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign


What is the 16 Days Campaign?


The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.

Participants chose the dates November 25 (International Day Against Violence Against Women) and December 10(International Human Rights Day) in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights.

This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.The 16 Days Campaign has been used as an organizing strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by:

  • raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels
  • strengthening local work around violence against women
  • establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women
  • providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies
  • demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against women
  • creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women

Over 4,100 organizations in approximately 172 countries have participated in the 16 Days Campaign since 1991!

Source: Say No To Violence


WAO and 16 Days

This year, WAO’s recognition of the 16 Day activism will revolve on the issue of emotional violence. Though not as easily recognised and identifiable as psychical abuse, emotional abuse is serious and prevalent. More than 90% of women who sought refuge at WAO experienced some form of emotional violence. Some are known, some go unnoticed.

The theme we have chosen this year is Love Should Not Be Conditional, which will thread the existence of emotional violence in everyday life. We have highlighted four main objectives for our campaign this year.

  1. To create awareness on the cycle of violence
  2. To address the myths around love
  3. To address the significance of an apology: what does sorry really mean?
  4. To highlight the acts of coercive control in everyday situations

Watch these PSAs on emotional abuse:


WAO event line up

  • 25 November (Monday) – International Day Against Violence Against Women

We are launching the Love Should Not Be Conditional cards. Pick one up! Cards available at:

–  All Body Shop outlets throughout the Klang Valley

– Artisan Coffee Bars (TTDI & Bangsar Village 2) & Artisan Roast


  • 26 November (Tuesday) 

Have you experienced love being used as tool of control? Know of examples? Just want to share your thoughts on what real love is or should be?

Join our Tweetathon by tweeting using #LoveShouldNotBeConditional, starting 11AM onwards on 26 November. And follow WAO on Twitter @womensaidorg!


  • 29 November (Friday) 

WAO, on behalf of the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG), is organising a roundtable discussion on domestic violence in cooperation with the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development to improve the response mechanism on domestic violence in Malaysia.

The roundtable will include a guest speaker from Singapore’s Ministry of Social Welfare, representatives from the Department of Social Welfare, Royal Malaysia Police, One Stop Crisis Centres, and members of the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG). (Attendance by invitation) 


  • 6 December (Friday) 

“You are all a bunch of feminists, and I hate feminists.”

These were a gunman’s words before he opened fire and shot dead on fourteen young female engineering students at Montreal University in Canada in 1989.

In conjunction with the anniversary of this tragic event, the “Montreal Massacre”, WAO will be hosting Facebook chat from 11am – 3pm on 6 December to discuss sexism and misogyny. Visit


  • 10 December (Tuesday) – International Human Rights Day

Every year, thousands of women in Malaysia face domestic violence. Some have been generous enough to share their stories with us.

WAO will be launching a video which tells some of these stories, including the violence the women faced, and how they tried to get help. Look out for it on our YouTube page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top