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16 Days of Activism 2022

At Women for Women International, we believe every woman has the power to transform her world, and this is #WhatMakesUsStronger in the fight against Violence Against Women (VAW).  

Starting November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) and running through December 10 (World Human Rights Day), join us for 16 Days of Activism, an annual worldwide campaign against VAW. 

There are multiple forms of VAW, which can include emotional, psychological, and sexual violence as well as harmful traditional practices and the refusal of economic rights. The World Bank reported that 35% of women have experienced VAW around the world, and in countries reeling from violent conflict and forced displacement, the risk of violence against women increases. 

Program participant in Nigeria. Credit: Comfort Biangten.

Add your voice to our global community working to end VAW. 

Will you stand with us by showing what makes you stronger in fighting VAW?   

Here are some ways you can take action now: 

  1. Pledge your support to end VAW. 

  2. Be part of ending violence against women. Download the 16 Days of Activism Activity Calendar and follow along each day of the campaign on @womenforwomen Social Media Channels to participate in the social actions.

  3. Share what makes you stronger to end VAW: Post a selfie or a 30-second video using the #WhatMakesUsStronger on your social media and tag @womenforwomen. [Download Toolkit] 

  4. Fundraise or donate during Giving Tuesday.

  5. Share a message of support with our Change Agents and encourage them to stay strong in fighting violence against women.

  6. Download our practical guide: Forms of VAW and How You Can Support Survivors

  7. Join our events. [information below]

What Makes you Stronger in Fighting Violence Against Women?

We also want to hear from you!

16 days activism Afghanistan
Program Participant in Afghanistan. Credit: WfWI.

When women can use their power, they reinvest it in their families, communities, and countries to improve the whole world for everyone.


Violence Against Women is often normalized and relies on a culture of silence.  

We know it takes courage to speak out. 

In Afghanistan for example, our data shows that nearly 40% of women felt empowered to speak out publicly against the abuse of women after graduating from our program, compared to just 2% at enrollment. 

If we all join together to raise our voices, we will feel stronger to fight against VAW. 

How VAW Impacts Women Worldwide:
eye with a tear drop icon
Physical and Sexual Violence

It is estimated that 1 in 3 women have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their life.

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The Most Affected Women

Women from low and lower-middle income countries and regions worldwide are disproportionately affected by violence.

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Seeking Help

Less than 40 per cent of women who experience violence seek help.

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Domestic Violence Laws

Though 158 countries have passed laws on domestic violence, this does not mean these laws are always compliant with international standards, nor does this mean they are always implemented and enforced.

“It’s also important for the women to know that they have the right to need help”  

We invited WfWI Nigeria’s Country Director, Bukola Onyishi and Joice, a program participant of the Change Agent Program, to share how we work to empower our participants with the knowledge and tools to succeed in eliminating Violence Against Women (VAW). Hear from these women on what hinders the fight against VAW and the importance of speaking out:  

Download our Free Guide

When you hear the term “Violence Against Women” (VAW), what comes to mind? If you are familiar with the meaning of VAW, you may think of physical or domestic violence. However, did you know that forcing access to a partner’s phone is also a form of violence, as well as enforcing control or monitoring their daily activities? Through this guide, you will learn the different forms of VAW. You will also learn how VAW can be prevented, and what to do if you or someone you know is experiencing any form of VAW.

16 Days of Activism 2022


16 Days of Activism Events Agenda:

The Power of Art and Activism: A Conversation with Syrian Artists  

Aiyah Sibay
Aiyah Sibay art. Credit: Aiyah Sibay

Join us for an insightful conversation with up-and-coming WfWI Ambassador and Oscar nominated filmmaker Waad Al-Kateab and Syrian American artist Aiyah Sibay on how they both use art to impact change within their communities and beyond.

When: Thursday, December 1st, 11AM EST

Where: IG Live 

Stronger Together: A Conversation with Ukrainian Partners  

Kateryna with art therapy group. Credit: Bereginia.

Join us for an engaging conversation with Kateryna of Bereginia - Mariupol’s Women’s Association in Poland and Anna Orel of the Andreev Foundation in Ukraine moderated by podcast host and journalist Sara Little. You will hear how our Conflict Response Fund partners are using their power to provide survivor-centric support for women affected by the war in Ukraine.  

Through local partners like these, Women for Women International is working to provide critical services such as dedicated, safer spaces for women to gather; medical care including psychological and gynecological consultations with doctors; gender-based violence counseling and prevention strategies, trauma-informed care and psychosocial support, and legal assistance.  

When: Monday, December 5th at 12PM EST 

Where: Zoom Webinar 

Click to Register

Stronger Women: Global Self-Defense Workshop 

Collen Daly. Credit: Guerrera Fit.

What makes you stronger? Join us to learn the fundamentals of self-defense in this woman-led, intensive, and trauma-informed virtual workshop seminar. The goal is to make you feel confident, secure, and powerful in your body. Participants can expect to learn basic fighting stance, movement, striking, groundwork, wrestling, de-escalation, verbal advocacy, and solutions to self-defense scenarios commonly used on women such as front chokes. Be sure to bring a pillow/cushion to the class.  

Instructor: Colleen is the founder of Guerrera Fit, a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, athlete, self-defense expert, and martial artist. She has over 10 years of experience as a fitness professional, working to help people feel strong, confident, and powerful in their bodies. 

When: Friday, December 9th at 11AM – 12PM EST/4PM – 5PM GMT 

Where: Zoom

Click to Register


We Can Make a Difference: 

We asked participants in our program and our staff what makes them stronger to end Violence Against Women. Here's what they told us.

Download our toolkit and join us! Tag #WhatMakesUsStronger and @womenforwomen on Social Media. 

16 Days of Activism Social Media Toolkit

This toolkit comes with everything you need to raise your voice to end Violence Against Women as part of our 16 Days of Activism campaign:

- Activity Calendar

- Message Templates

- Graphics

Share a Message of Support with Our Change Agents:

Change Agents Nigeria
Change Agents meeting in Nigeria. Credit: Sefa Nkansa.

In our Change Agent Program, graduates undertake grassroots advocacy activities, mentored and supported by Women for Women International staff to help women identify problems in their communities and create action plans to challenge them. 

Share a message of support today and encourage them to stay strong in fighting violence against women.

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Giving Tuesday: Fundraise and Double Your Impact

As the Ukraine war continues into winter, women survivors of sexual violence, refugees, and those displaced in Ukraine are struggling. Some are too traumatized to even ask for help. Your emergency gift to the Conflict Response Fund can provide medical care, psychological aid, and occupational training so women can heal from their wounds and financially support their families. When you give by November 29, your gift will be matched up to $50,000.

Thank You to Our Partners:

Through collective efforts and mutual passion, our goals become more attainable. This is why we are thankful for our partners, who have joined us in the fight to eliminate Violence Against Women globally.  

Bereginia, The Mariupol Women’s Association

Human Doc

Alongside Bereginia and HumanDoc Foundation in Poland, we serve women and children evacuated from Mariupol. Together with them, we offer dedicated spaces for women refugees to gather and psychosocial support, including art therapy, to begin the healing process.

As they adapt to life in a new country, we also provide legal counsel, and vocational skills so the women can become financially independent and support obtaining accommodation. 

The Andreev Foundation

andreev foundation

Together with The Andreev Foundation, we’re supporting mobile teams of psychologists who travel to reach women survivors in areas of Ukraine that were formerly occupied by the Russians.  

We build trust with women in those communities, providing survivors of sexual violence with psychological aid as well as raising awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, in order to support larger numbers of women suffering from war-related trauma. 

We’re also providing skills training for internally displaced women to access new job opportunities. In addition, for those women survivors of sexual violence who are in the occupied territories of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, with our partner we’re setting up a hotline for women to receive psychological counselling.

Nadia’s Initiative

Nadia Initiative logo

Nadia’s Initiative (NI) is dedicated to rebuilding communities in crisis and advocating globally for survivors of sexual violence. Nadia’s Initiative’s current work is focused on the sustainable re-development of the Yazidi homeland in Sinjar, Iraq, where Nadia Murad grew up. When ISIS launched their genocidal campaign, they not only killed and kidnapped Yazidis, but also destroyed the Yazidi homeland to ensure the community could never return.

Nadia’s Initiative works with the local community and a variety of implementing partners on the ground in Sinjar to design and support projects that promote the restoration of education, healthcare, livelihoods, WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene), and women’s empowerment in the region. All Nadia’s Initiative programs are community-driven, survivor centric, and work to promote long term peace-building. Nadia’s Initiative advocates governments and international organizations to support efforts to rebuild Sinjar, seek justice for Yazidis, improve security in the region, and support survivors of sexual violence worldwide.

Alongside Nadia's Initiative, we will promote the event Solidarity Circle, which will happen in person with some of our program participants and the Yazidi survivors that NI works with. As part of the 16 Days of Activism, the event will happen in Shekhan, KRI, on December 1, and it will be a safe space for the women to share their challenges in their community and what they think about women’s empowerment.

Related Content:

Change Agents Nigeria
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