16 Days of Activism

What is 16 Days of Activism?

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is a global campaign dedicated to raising awareness about the impact of violence, particularly on women. The campaign starts 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and concludes 10 December, Human Rights Day. These dates were chosen in order to symbolically link violence against women with human rights issues. In particular, this campaign emphasises the fact that violence, in any form, is a violation of human rights.

For four years now, WHISE and partners have chosen to promote the campaign in cafes throughout the Southern Metropolitan Region. Cafes play an important role in the community of bringing people together and seeing messages on cups, cards and posters will help to start a very important discussion around why we need to challenge disrespect towards women and how it links to gender-based violence.

Bystander action

The focus of this year’s campaign is bystander action. An OurWatch survey showed that 79% of respondents want practical tips about ways to safely intervene when witnessing disrespect toward women and girls.

Bystander action is defined as: "Safe and appropriate actions taken to challenge the drivers of violence against women – that is, to challenge:

  • The condoning of violence against women.
  • Men’s control of decision-making and limits to women’s independence in public and private life.
  • Stereotyped constructions of masculinity and femininity.
  • Disrespect towards women, and male peer relationships that emphasise aggression."

Bystander action includes speaking out about and responding to sexism, discrimination and inequality. Here are 16 tips to help call out disrespect. Before intervening, it's important that the individual observes the situation and only act if safe to do so.

How can I get involved?

Follow our Facebook page during 16 Days of Activism for tips on how to call it out. facebook.com/whisewomen

Visit participating cafes in the South East, buy a coffee and get active on social. Take photos of the cups using the hashtags #RespectStartsWithMe and #Callitout and show the community that preventing violence against women starts with calling it out and not accepting disrespect.

Participating cafes

This year, over 110 cafes in the Southern Metropolitan Region are participating in 16 Days of Activism. Visit a cafe and check out the cups, posters, cards and stickers that feature hand-drawn artwork developed by a local female artist:








Social Media Toolkit

Social media is a great way to connect, advocate and spread the word. WHISE has compiled a social media toolkit for people looking to participate in 16 Days of Activism. The aim of this toolkit is to assist individuals and organisations to promote consistent messaging about the campaign as well as challenging disrespect towards women and how it links to gender-based violence. The toolkit includes 16 downloadable images that are paired with a bystander tip for each of the 16 days. Links to video clips, relevant websites and resources have also been included to strengthen the messages.

Partner Organisations

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is supported by the Preventing Violence Together Strategy Partnership

WHISE would like to acknowledge The 16 Days of Activism working group, who have been instrumental in the development and roll out of this regional campaign:

WHISE also acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

*Information for the campaign has been sourced from OurWatch, Vic Health, Latrobe University and Women’s Health Victoria

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. For more information about a service in your state or local area download the DAISY App in the App Store or Google Play.