From November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, through December 10, Human Rights Day, World Pulse is joining organizations across the globe for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. Since July, World Pulse has been collecting stories and solutions from women on the ground through our Ending Violence Against Women Digital Action Campaign. Violence—from domestic abuse, to honor crimes, to child marriage, to rape in conflict—is one of our greatest global challenges, but the voices of survivors and their allies are rising with a power that will change our world.
Every day we will be highlighting stories and solutions from the campaign and introducing you to emerging global voices on this issue.
Return to this blog post or follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily updates throughout the 16 Days. We are pleased to share sixteen ways women and men around the world are working to bring about an end to violence against women.
Day 1: Fighting for justice
“It is very rare that a woman in Afghanistan would stand up against such a culturally sensitive and taboo issue to regain her dignity and honor... It is even rarer for women to fight through the Afghan justice system and have some achievements”
Batool Muradi is standing up for her rights in a landmark legal case. Read the full story by activist Noorjahan Akbar.
Day 2: Breaking cycles of hatred
"Whether we choose the flower or the gun – the choice is ours."
Responding to the shooting of Malala Yousafzai, Kirthi Jayakumar of India reflects on our power to make decisions that further peace. Read the full story here.
Day 3: Speaking out for the children who can't
"I left school and decided that I needed to protect other children. No one had saved me from the imam, but I could help others."
Abused and betrayed as a child by the imam at her mosque, Nabila Sharma, author of the memoir Brutal, is now a voice for abused children. Read her story here
Day 4: Illuminating root causes of violence
"Boys and men need to be involved as part of the solution and be taught to respect women and girls, to understand boundaries, and to grasp - once and for all - that No really means No and that silence does not mean Yes."
The rape of a 15-year-old girl at an exclusive country club has caused a stir in Paraguay. Viochan reflects on this stark reminder that sexual violence permeates society and has nothing to do with economic class. Read her story.
Day 5: Redefining masculinity
"We will not be boxed into masculinity by seductive promises of power or intimidating threats of violence. It's time for us now to break through our fear and isolation."
Gender-based violence isn't just a 'women's issue'. By challenging gender roles that perpetuate violence, male leaders like Isaac are part of the solution. Read Issac's message to men.
Day 6: Envisioning peace
"I’ve joined a Hallelujah chorus, and in harmony we’re raising our voices with all our might and as one, singing that New World anthem: 'free at last, free at last; thank God Almighty, we’re free at last!'”
Today as women in the Congo face chaos, mass rape, and a heartbreaking scale of violence, we urgently need the voices of community leaders like Neema Namadamu, who embody the path to peace. Read Neema's story.
Day 7: Exchanging resources and solutions
Beyond powerful individual voices, it's the collaboration we see in the World Pulse community that makes this a truly global movement. By exchanging funding, information, expertise, and opportunities across borders, we are advancing together toward a world free of gender violence. Explore resources.
Day 8: Drawing inspiration from youth
"If a young girl can, then we also can. Let us not allow the widows to die unsung."
A 13-year-old girl in India took a stand for widows' rights after watching her community's cruel treatment of her mother. Follow this young girl's path towards justice. Read the story by Mukut Ray
Day 9: Nurturing the next generation
"If I refuse to be the voice, my daughters would remain voiceless."
Walking out of an abusive marriage wasn't easy for Olutosin, but she has survived to raise strong, confident daughters and become a mentor to girls in her community in Nigeria. Read Olutosin's story.
Day 10: Rejecting traditions that harm women
"I will never forget the faint sound of the scissor cutting my flesh four times, the stitching four times... and the nightmares of the vicious cycle of cutting-stitching-cutting, and legacy of hereditary pain."
Female genital mutilation is practiced on young girls, but as Halima's harrowing childbirth experience attests, it continues to haunt women with brutal consequences throughout their adulthood. Read the story by survivor and anti-FGM activist Halima Mohamed Abdel Rahman.
Day 11: Refusing to be silenced
"I found an incredible amount of healing from sharing my story... Even if my voice shakes, I will talk about rape. What it does to you. And how I am choosing not only to survive it but live purposely, loudly and fearlessly."
Many of these stories are painful to read, but they need to be heard. Join LatiNegra in naming the violence and breaking through the silence around rape. Read her story here.
Day 12: Sharing paths to healing
"The joy I feel now is the same size as the terror I felt as a child. It is vast and deep."
Subjected to brutal violence as a girl in her home in Northern Ireland, Aoife Valley explores the meditation practice that led her to find healing and the power of her own voice. Read her story.
Day 13: Dancing
"We choose to dance because women have learned to change sorrow to joy."
Amie Bojang-Sissoho of The Gambia will lead her community in a day of dance for the One Billion Rising campaign to celebrate the power of women saying no to female genital mutilation, early marriage, and all forms of sexual violence. Read Amie's story.
Day 14: Opening hearts to change
"Through tears and determination, my sisters and I changed our fate. We broke the cycle of abuse in our family."
His sister's suffering awakened Ali Shahidy to his own role in perpetuating violence against women—and solidified his determination to help change the culture in Afghanistan. Read Ali's story.
Day 15: Taking to the streets
"When your voice merges with hundreds of others, look how loud your voice gets."
Urmila Chanam—journalist and activist from Bangalore, India—describes participating in the city's first march against human trafficking. Read Urmila's story.
Day 16: Leading the way forward
"The untapped leadership potential of the women in the Congo to lead peace and development is staggering. We must support this emerging vocal uprising."
World Pulse founder Jensine Larsen celebrates the 'Hero Women' of the Congo, who are using technology and the World Pulse platform to unite, demand action, and lead the way out violence in their region. Support their vision for peace: Meet Congo's Hero Women and sign their petition.
Inspired? Take Action!
Show your Support Encourage the women who have bravely shared their stories—many of whom are speaking out on this topic for the first time. By reading their submissions and leaving supportive comments, you are showing women that their voices matter.