16 Days– Activists around the world come together to end violence against women and girls

3 January 2017

The 16 Days of Activism is an international movement led by the UN that takes place between 25 November to 10 December every year.

This 16 Days, campaigns to end FGM and all forms of violence against women took off across the African continent and beyond.

This year, the theme was ‘Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence Against Women and Girls.’

Cities around the world lit up their landmarks in orange as part of the #OrangeTheWorld movement to show solidarity. People young and old marched, lobbied their governments, and took to the streets and social media to make their voices heard.

Here are some highlights from around the world:

(Photo credit: UN Women)

In Senegal, the 16 Days launched in Dakar at the Renaissance Monument, which embodies the vision of a united Africa. 

Also in Senegal, Parole Aux Jeunes, a youth-led organisation, started the social media campaign #TouchePasAMaSoeur (#DontTouchMySister) to take a stand against FGM.


In Gambia, our Youth Network launched the social media campaign #YEndFGMGMB (Youth to end FGM in the Gambia).

Our friends at Safe Hands For Girls also celebrated the #16Days with an anti-FGM march.

In Nigeria, the Child Health Advocacy Initiative took to the streets to stand up for women and girls.  

In Kenya, our Youth Network members in Narok trained young people on social change communications to end FGM.

Also in Kenya, a declaration ceremony took place in Kajiado where 55 ex cutters, Morans and village elders declared to the community that they would no longer perform FGM.

And in London, the African diaspora and end FGM allies kept the momentum going. Our Global Director Dr Faith Mwangi-Powell visited the UK and represented The Girl Generation at a few end FGM events.  

(Photo credit: The Commonwealth)

We went to the Commonwealth Summit on empowering girls and women and got to know the amazing Nancy, a young activist fighting for change in her community.

 Nancy’s story is told in the powerful documentary film Nancy: A One Girl Revolution. You can watch the trailer here

Our friends at FORWARD launched new research about the role of men in ending FGM. Read the findings here.

FORWARD also hosted the African Diaspora Women’s Forum that was themed around making  Sustainable Development Goal #5 work for women and girls. Inspiring African women led the discussion on what needs to happen to achieve gender equality by 2030.

And finally, The Girl Generation hosted a pan-African Twitter chat all about the power of youth in ending FGM. You can view the highlights of the discussion here.  

The 16 Days was another opportunity for activists, ambassadors, and organisations big and small from all over the world to come together and take sustained action towards ending FGM and all forms of violence against women and girls.

For many, the 16 Days is really 365 days a year, and even though the campaign is now over, the hard work continues.

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