Johannesburg, 23 November: Gender Links is proud to partner with seven grantees in the #VoiceandChoice Southern Africa Fund in their “I am a Man, I can” campaign during the 2023 Sixteen Days of Activism Campaign.

“For far too long Gender Based Violence (GBV) has been seen as a ‘woman’s issue’,” says GL Special Advisor Colleen Lowe Morna. “It is not. It is said that five in six men are not abusers. But where are they? Can they stand up and be counted? Can the one in six who are abusers change their ways? Can we raise a new generation based on equality?”

This campaign aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence (GBV) and involve men in taking a stand against it. The content is structured to educate, engage, and encourage men to actively support survivors and contribute to creating a safer society. Subsequent content focuses on educating men about their role in ending GBV, understanding consent, intervening as bystanders, and questioning their own actions to prevent sexual assault.

The campaign concludes with a call to action, urging men to reflect on their behaviour and commitment to a violence-free society during the 16 Days of Activism. Throughout the campaign, the audience is encouraged to share their thoughts, experiences, and actions using the hashtag to foster community and collective action.

The “I am a MAN and I…” campaign aims not only to challenge societal norms but to create a space where men actively contribute to the fight against GBV. Through inclusive support and global collaboration, the team seeks to make a significant impact on the journey toward a world free from gender-based violence.

The Sixteen Days of Activism spans the period from 25 November, International Day of No Violence Against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day. Around the world, 736 million women — almost one in three — have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both, at least once in their lives. More than four in five women and girls (86 per cent) are living in countries without robust legal protection, or in countries for which data are not readily available.

According to UN Women, “No country is within reach of eradicating intimate partner violence. Despite the scale of the problem and these worrying trends, financial commitments to violence prevention remain limited. Investing in preventing violence against women and girls is crucial to achieving gender equality by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Currently, only 0.2% of global Official Development Assistance is directed to gender-based violence prevention.25% of countries have systems to track budget allocations for gender equality.78%of countries have budgetary commitments to implement legislation addressing violence against women. The UN agency is calling on governments to “put their money where their mouth is.”

This year marks the 25th anniversary since South Africa initiated the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign. The campaign will be launched on 25 November 2023, in Mpumalanga Province, and the government theme for the 16 Days of Activism Campaign for 2023 is: “Accelerating actions to end gender-based violence & femicide: leaving no one behind”.

The #VoiceandChoice campaign will be launched in Pietermaritzburg, in the KwaZulu Natal Province of South Africa, on 24 November, by Incema. Partners include: Kwanele Bringing Justice to Women (Western Cape); Life Savers Organization (Limpopo); Phola Psycho-social Organization (Gauteng); Unlimited Hope Alliance (Zimbabwe); ROOTS Africa (Zimbabwe); Matabeleland AIDS Council (Zimbabwe); Young Women Christian Association (Lesotho); Gender Links (South Africa)

The event will include a Multisectoral Men’s Forum to engage men from various sectors in discussions and actions against GBV. A peaceful walk will include a symbolic walk from the police station gate to the detectives’ hall, demonstrating solidarity. Stakeholders from ten countries will share messages.

On 27 November, Roots in Zimbabwe will host a twitter rally. The panel will consist of five men, fromZimbabwe, South Africa, and Lesotho. The conversation will be recorded and shared on Twitter.Host Account- @roots_africa.

On Giving Tuesday, 28 November, Kwanele will run a fund raising campaign and is offering support to all NGOs and CBOs in accessing this powerful online fund raising day and platform.

On 6 December, the #VoiceandChoice Southern Africa Fund will host a ground breaking webinar on unsafe abortion as a form on GBV. The interactive session will include a survey on attitudes toward abortion.

On 11 December, at 13.00 -14.30 SATS, the Voice and Choice Fund will host a “Sixteen Days for Life” webinar to evaluate the outcomes of the 2023 campaign.

For more information visit the Sixteen Days of Activism page

Add your Sixteen Day messages in the comment box. They will be published after being checked for authenticity.