Official UN commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

The United Nations Observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women takes place on Wednesday, 22 November 2023, 10:00 am – 11:30 am (EST) at the ECOSOC Chamber, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and ends on International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

Led by civil society, the campaign is supported by the United Nations through the Secretary General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women initiative.

The global theme of this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence is “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls” which emphasizes the need for funding prevention strategies to proactively stop gender-based violence.

The theme further aligns with the 2024 priority theme of the Commission on the Status of Women, which is "Accelerating Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls" by addressing poverty, strengthening institutions, and incorporating a gender perspective into financing.

The 16 Days campaign will support and amplify commitments to prevent violence against women and catalyze global advocacy efforts including through Generation Equality and the Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence.

Violence against women and girls remains the most pervasive human rights violation around the world. Some 736 million women — almost one in three — have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both, at least once in their lives.

More than four in five women and girls (86 per cent) are living in countries without robust legal protection, or in countries for which data are not readily available.

No country is within reach of eradicating intimate partner violence and only a quarter of countries have systems to track and make budgetary allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Despite the scale of the problem and these worrying trends, financial commitments to violence prevention remain limited. Few national governments have funded transformative gender-based violence prevention policies or committed significant budget allocations toward ending violence against women. Investing in preventing violence against women and girls is crucial to achieving gender equality by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

This year´s 16 Days campaign calls upon all UNITE networks, civil society and women’s rights organizations, organizations working with men and boys, the UN system, the Generation Equality Action Coalitions, government partners, human rights defenders, schools, universities, private sector, sports clubs and associations and individuals to step up and support different prevention strategies to stop violence from occurring in the first place.

Every effort invested in preventing violence against women is a step towards a safer, more equal, and prosperous world.

Read the concept note.

To watch the event live, please visit UN Web TV.