Every year we write something similar to the article you’re about to read; and every year we hope that one day soon we’ll wake up in a universe where gender-based violence doesn’t exist. 

Yet here we are still in a world where gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide sit heavily on the backs of those who identify as women and girls. And it’s fair to say that we’ve had enough.

Usually when you click on an article like this, it kicks off with figures and statistics that show how serious the issue really is. And yes, the statistics around gender-based violence are undeniably important and scary in equal measure, and if you’d like to see them, check out UN Women’s website and social media accounts, or take our quiz.

But there simply aren’t enough numbers in the world to highlight the severity of gender-based violence. How many women need to be killed or assaulted before the numbers are enough to show world leaders we need more action? 

It should be as simple as recognising that women, girls, and victims of GBV deserve and need their human rights to be respected and protected. So in this article, we’re not going to give you the stats. The mere fact you clicked to read it tells us you believe in the same world we dream of. The fact that you’re reading this says you’re with us when we say: “Enough is enough.” 

Let’s do this then, let’s take action against this horrifying epidemic together. No numbers, no figures, no statistics, not today at least — just urgent and determined action led by the need to defend the human rights of others. 

Here are 5 key actions you can take right now to support this year’s 16 Days campaign and help eliminate gender-based violence. 

Sign Our Open Letter and Urge Leaders to Invest in Sexual and Reproductive Health

Sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) are essential in the fight towards achieving gender equality and ending gender-based violence; these rights include the right to access to maternal health care, bodily autonomy, sex education, and the right to privacy. You can learn more about SRHR and why they are so key to ending extreme poverty in our explainer here.

Currently these rights are being undermined or prohibited in many parts of the world, leading to situations where women and girls face the threat of poverty simply for existing as who they are. Join us and sign our petition here urging world leaders to prioritize SRHR and make significant investments into these vital rights

How Does War Impact Women and Girls? Take Our Quiz.

Issues that women and girls face on a daily basis around the world are very often exacerbated in times of conflict and crisis. Gender-based violence is no different. Often, GBV is used by parties to conflict as a weapon of war — stripping women and girls of their human rights, their bodily autonomy, and objectifying them to the extreme. 

The more we understand the experiences of women and girls in the face of conflict and war, the more we can call for their protection. You can learn about the dangers women and girls are exposed to during conflict by reading our explainer here, and taking our quiz

Learn More About What Maternal Health Looks Like Around the World

A large part of SRHR is providing the right for women and girls to access sexual and reproductive health care — millions of pregnant mothers and babies around the world face serious health implications and even death because of being denied this right. In fact, according to Unicef, 2.8 million pregnant women and newborns die every year due to inadequate access to maternal health care. 

Take our quiz and learn more about why maternal health care is so crucial, so we can all take action to demand more of it

Why Do Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Matter? You Tell Us.

We’ve highlighted how lack of SRHR can be a threat to the lives of women and girls, however there are many other ways SRHR impacts communities every day. Women and girls everywhere are impacted in one way or another by the barriers they face to SRHR. The lack of these rights is a direct systemic impact of poverty, and can also further contribute to poverty — continuing the cycle and extending rather than reducing gender inequality. 

We want to hear from you, why do you think protecting and investing in SRHR matters? Share your thoughts with us to help women and girls around the world know that they’re not alone, and to tell leaders why SRHR are so essential to a poverty-free world

Take Our Challenges on the Global Citizen App

Throughout this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign we’re teaming up with three incredible activists who are also the winners of the 2022 Global Citizen Prize. Anuscheh Amir-Khalili, Payzee Mahmod, and Mam’Khanyisile Motsa are calling on Global Citizens around the world to take action with them by embarking on their lifestyle challenges on the Global Citizen app throughout 16 Days of Activism. 

All you need to do is download the app, scroll on over to our challenges page, and keep a lookout for their challenges so you can take part. Get started with our #16Days: Stop Gender-Based Violence challenge, and you’ll be part of a journey that introduces you to Anuscheh, Payzee, and Mam’Khanyi’s work and shows you how you can be a part of the mission to end gender-based violence. 

Download the app here

If you haven’t already, make sure you sign up to become a Global Citizen so you can take more actions with us to call for gender equality and the end of GBV throughout the year, beyond 16 Days of Activism. Let’s continue taking action hour after hour, day after day, year after year, until we can open our eyes to find ourselves in a world where we don’t have to write articles like this. 


Demand Equity

#16Days: 5 Important Actions You Can Take to Help End Gender-Based Violence

By Khanyi Mlaba