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.

The focus of the 2020 campaign was to explore what respect means and how people can take positive action, for example modelling respect or stepping up when you hear disrespectful behaviour.

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 did WHISE support 16 Days of Activism in 2020?

Lunchtime Session: 16 Days of Activism and Values-Based Messaging

WHISE hosted a lunchtime session as part of 16 Days of Activism. Mark Chenery from Common Cause Australia presented a practical session on why and how to use values-based messaging. This one-hour session looked at how to integrate values-based messaging and its principals into 16 Days of Activism work, in particular for social media messaging and campaigns.

WHISE will continue to advocate, share resources and provide opportunities to deepen our knowledge and practice in this very important practice. WHISE hopes to see the further values-based messages in partners' health promotion practice across our region and will continue to show leadership in this space.

Read the evaluation

Watch the session:

Play Video

Social Media Campaign

WHISE put together a social media calendar, with content for partners to use or share throughout the campaign.


Read the evaluation/outcomes of the 2020 campaign
Read the evaluation of the 2018 campaign


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

*Information for the campaign has been sourced from OurWatchVic HealthLatrobe 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.