16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence

To access #Together4GE resources, including social media memes click here

Every year, Women’s Health East leads a regional 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (16 Days) campaign with the support of participating partner organisations in the Eastern Metropolitan Region (EMR). This year, the focus of Women’s Health East’s 16 Days campaign is on partnerships that advance gender equality, but not just organisational partnerships. Your partners in action could be your neighbours, your local politicians, your educators or your workmates – anyone with whom you interact where you live, work, play and learn. Whether your partners are on an interpersonal level or at an organisational level, when it comes to preventing violence against all women, we’re all in this together. We all have a responsibility to elevate the voices of women who have survived violence and we all have roles to play in facilitating a society free of gender based violence.

This year’s #Together4GE campaign aims to:

  • Highlight the links between violence against women and gender inequality;
  • Increase understanding of what action to progress gender equality looks like (in particular by highlighting work and projects being done in the region); and
  • Call on everyone to commit to taking action, with a focus on four domains – promoting gender equality where we live, work, play and learn.

Every day for 16 days, Women’s Health East will generate original content across our social media platforms to highlight a gender equality message, either from a Speaking Out Advocate or a WHE partner organisation. The experiences of the Speaking Out Advocates will link gender inequality and violence against women, and stress the importance of collective action to prevent violence. The posts highlighting our partner organisation’s great gender equality work will illustrate collective action and serve to encourage and inspire others to support gender equitable action.

The content below can be downloaded and used by your organisations and shared across the 16 days. The below calendar demonstrates the days we will be featuring each organisation. There are short meme’s and long meme’s and content to go with each that are maximum 280 characters, so perfect for Twitter! 

Background Information


16 Days is a global campaign to raise awareness about violence against women and its impact on a woman’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual well-being. The 16 Days begins on 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and end on December 10th, International Human Rights Day. These dates were chosen to highlight that violence against women is a human rights abuse. (Click here to read more about the significant events during the 16 Days). 

During the 16 Days people from around the world use the campaign to raise awareness about the prevalence and devastating impact of violence against women, to celebrate victories gained, to challenge the structures that enable and support violence against women to occur at such an alarming rate, and to demand that violence against women be recognised as an abuse of human rights.

Click here to read more about the origins of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign. 


Intimate partner violence is the leading cause of death, disability and illness in Australian women aged 18-44 years. Violence against women has profound, wide ranging, long term impacts on the health and wellbeing of women and children, families and communities. Three in ten Australian women report having experienced physical violence at least once in their lives, and two in ten women report having experienced sexual violence at least once in their lives. Almost one woman each week is killed by a current or former partner. In 2015-16 Victoria Police attended almost 24 family violence incidents each day in the Eastern Metropolitan Region .

Women’s Health East work towards ending violence against women in the Eastern Metropolitan Region by addressing the underlying determinants of violence against women, which are centred around power and gender inequality. We do this through working in partnership with other organisations in a coordinated approach, through advocacy and research, and by implementing primary prevention programs. Take a look at Together for Equality & Respect, the Speaking Out Program and LGBTI Family Violence Prevention Project; three examples of how Women’s Health East is working towards preventing violence against women in Melbourne’s East.

For more information on this priority area check out our Resources and see the topic Violence Against Women.


Inequality between men and women can take many forms. Inequality in power, resources, and entitlements, as well as historical norms and values around the roles of women in society, negatively impact the health of girls and women. The ways in which organisations are structured and programmes are run can similarly have a negative impact on the health of girls and women. Inequality between women and men can also affect women’s capacity to access resources such as income, education and employment, which themselves promote health.

To address these inequalities, Women’s Health East advocate for a gender equity approach to health. This approach acknowledges that men and women do not function on a level playing field and, as a result, the health of women is impacted. To account for this, different strategies and measures must be implemented for men and women in order to create fair outcomes. For example, increasing the representation of women in organisational leadership roles and positions of power can help to shift cultural norms around gender roles, and gives women the opportunity to have input into decision making that affects their lives and the lives of other women in their community.


There is a strong link between violence against women and the ingrained inequalities between men and women.[v] Research has shown a strong association between sexist attitudes, the unequal status of women in society and the perpetration of violence against women, which is why the message of gender equality in the 16 Days campaign is so important.

Gender inequality can also lead to depression and anxiety,[vi] low self-esteem and body image issues,[vii],[viii] financial exclusion, poor health literacy[ix] and poverty, which in turn can lead to a higher exposure to risk factors for poor health and higher prevalence of chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, liver disease, respiratory disease and Type 2 Diabetes.[x],[xi],[xii],[xiii]



Orange is the universal colour representing a global movement to end violence against women. Inspired by the penalty system in soccer, the #OrangeCard is a social platform designed to give Victorians a way to speak up, speak out and become a genuine part of the solution to family violence. By calling out real life examples of gender inequality, marginalisation and discrimination with the #OrangeCard we can change the conversation.

You can download a Victoria Against Violence campaign kit with a wide variety of digital assets here to promote Victoria Against Violence across your social media platforms, workplaces and local communities.