The United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that takes place from November 25th. The movement falls on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and continues to December 10th, which is International Human Rights Day. 
This campaign aims to raise awareness and mobilise actions to combat gender-based violence, particularly violence against women and girls. 
During these 16 days, activists, organisations, governments, and individuals worldwide come together to raise vital awareness. 
The campaign seeks to inform the public about the various forms of gender-based violence. This includes domestic violence, sexual harassment, human trafficking, and more. It highlights the severe impact of such violence on individuals, families, and communities. 
One of the key goals is to advocate for measures that can prevent gender-based violence from occurring in the first place. This includes education, awareness programs, and policy changes. 
The campaign focuses on providing resources and support for survivors of gender-based violence, ensuring they have access to shelter, legal assistance, counselling, and other services. 
Activists use the 16 Days of Activism to push for changes in laws, policies, and institutions that can help address and prevent gender-based violence. This may involve lobbying for stricter laws against perpetrators, improved support systems, and other relevant measures. 
The campaign encourages individuals, communities, and organisations to get involved and take action against gender-based violence in their local contexts. 
16 Days of Activism: 2023's theme 
The 2023 UNiTE campaign theme is to invest in the prevention of violence against women and girls. It underscores the importance of allocating resources and financing to various prevention strategies aimed at stopping violence against women and girls before it occurs. 
This approach recognises that prevention is a critical aspect of addressing this pervasive issue. By investing in preventive measures, societies can work towards eliminating the root causes of gender-based violence and creating safer environments for women and girls. 
The focus on financing prevention strategies highlights the need for governments, organisations, and stakeholders to allocate funds and resources to programs, policies, and initiatives that address the underlying factors contributing to violence against women and girls. 
This can include educational initiatives, awareness campaigns, support services for survivors, legal reforms, and community engagement efforts. Effective prevention strategies can help change societal attitudes and behaviours and create a culture of respect, equality, and non-violence. 
A call for change 
The 2023 UNiTE campaign's emphasis on financing is a significant step in addressing and preventing violence against women and girls. This campaign highlights the importance of allocating resources and investments to support initiatives and programs that combat violence. 
Adequate financing is crucial for the implementation of policies, the provision of support services, and the promotion of gender equality, which all contribute to reducing violence against women and girls. 
The persistence of violence against women and girls as one of the most prevalent and pervasive human rights violations underscores the urgency of the issue. Despite the progress made in some areas, there are still challenges to overcome. 
The spread of violence against women 
Violence against women has expanded into various settings, including the workplace and online spaces. Online violence, in particular, has become a growing concern with the rise of the digital age. The Economist Intelligence Unit's findings indicate that a substantial number of women have experienced or witnessed online violence. 
These statistics underline the importance of addressing violence in the virtual sphere as well and creating safer online environments for women. 
The statistics related to women working in the technology sector experiencing harassment are concerning and point to the need for stronger measures to ensure safe and inclusive workplaces. 
It's crucial for governments, organisations, and individuals to take collective action to combat these issues and create a world where women and girls can live free from violence and discrimination. 
Local campaigner 
Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan, founder of Zinthiya Trust, a charity working to eliminate poverty and abuse against women here in Leicester and globally, says of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, “These efforts are essential in highlighting the need for change. There is so much work that’s needed in the prevention of violence against women. Much of our work is in the support of women who have suffered violence against them, but in every single case we want prevention.” 
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