2015 THEME ANNOUNCEMENT: 

“From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All!”

The year 2015 marks the 24th year of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, initiated in 1991 and coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. Participation in the Campaign has seen over 5,478 organizations, policymakers, governments, UN agencies and countless individuals from over 180 countries worldwide.

Together we have brought attention to issues of racism, sexism, cultures of violence, homophobia and called for the implementation of human rights obligations, including the right to health and reproductive rights, and end to militarism and gender-based violence, among others. The strength and longevity of the Campaign is due to these thousands of participants like you.

This year, the 16 Days Campaign will focus specifically on the relationship between militarism and the right to education in situations of violent conflict, in relative peace, and variety of education settings, while continuing to make the links with militarism, as an encompassing patriarchal system of discrimination and inequality based on our relationships to power.

Education is a public good and fundamental human right recognized in Article 26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and upheld in various international and regional human rights conventions and treaties. Nonetheless, the right to education is subject to political, economic, and social shifts and upheavals, leaving certain groups (especially women, girls, people with disabilities, LGBTQI people, migrants, and indigenous people) particularly vulnerable and liable to being denied this crucial right. Recent data shows that approximately 38 million people   are internally displaced worldwide, while 16.7 million are refugees. 

Girls and young women in particular are most adversely impacted by insecurity and crisis, with the most recent estimates showing that 31 million girls at primary level and 34 million at lower secondary level are not enrolled in school , and 15 million girls and 10 million boys will never see the inside of a classroom.  As many as 58 million children of primary school age do not have access to education, with approximately half of these (28.5 million) living in conflict affected areas.