16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women begins the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. From 25 November to 10 December, individuals, organizations, and countries will continue to build awareness of and advocate for the end to all forms of GBV.

This year’s theme is: “Together we can end GBV in education!” 

Education is a human right. Without it, the world would struggle to achieve equality, development, and peace. Closing the gender gap at all levels of education is not only empowering, but it also amplifies efforts to eliminate discrimination and violence against women and girls.

Unfortunately, school-related gender-based violence occurs in many countries. Perpetrated by teachers, administrators, staff, students, and community members, GBV in education threatens someone based on their gender identity, gender expression, or perceived gender. It jeopardizes gender equality, social and economic opportunities, and, most importantly, victims’ personal safety and emotional and physical health.

Schools are supposed to be safe spaces for children to learn, grow, and dream. The world should be a safe space for all. However, roots of GBV are everywhere. 16 Days of Activism Against GBV is a time to reflect on violence against women, take action to end it and advocate for others to join the efforts.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks, and especially from 25 November to 10 December, for more information on how Bantwana strives to #EndGBV and how you can join us to do so.

Together To End Violence Against Women

Women in Tanzania suffer from intimate partner violence (IPV) at alarmingly high rates. 44% of women in Tanzania have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence during their life. We, along with the South Africa Medical Research Council and Boston University’s Center for Global Health and Development, implemented a research project to gain insight on effective approaches for intimate partner violence prevention within existing orphan and vulnerable children programming.

Read our 16 Takeaways for 16 Days infographic briefer, and download the entire technical brief on our project page!

Learn more: bantwana.org/where-we-work/tanzania/tevaw/

Empowering Survivors

Nearly half of Zimbabwean girls have experienced physical violence and a third have faced sexual violence. We must work together to end GBV and respond to cases. It will take time to implement real positive change, but WEI/Bantwana is working with the government and local organizations to provide comprehensive medical, legal, and psychosocial support for survivors.

And together, we will achieve change. Learn more about our Zimbabwe work here:

DREAMS Ambassadors = Changemakers

Under USAID’s Better Outcomes program in Uganda, we and our partners are improving the well-being of vulnerable children and families through access to high quality integrated services across the HIV cascade. As a community-based partner under DREAMS, we are contributing to the goal of reducing HIV incidence among adolescent girls and young women through tailored evidence-based interventions that address their unique vulnerabilities to HIV infection.

Our referral and linkages approach ensures that AGYW access complementary HIV, health, protection and other socio-economic services across the HIV cascade. Ideally, we hope they are encouraged to achieve their goals to stay HIV free and become changemakers themselves by becoming DREAMS Ambassadors.

DREAMS champions reinforce HIV prevention messages in broader communities and support and encourage DREAMS girls and young women to stay HIV-free.

Follow our Twitter feed and Instagram to hear from two incredible DREAMS Ambassadors!


What did we learn in school today?

Imagine a time when youth in the world’s highest HIV prevalence country did not even learn about HIV in school.

That was the case in Swaziland until we started working with the Swazi Government to launch a national, HIV-focused life skills education program for secondary schoolers.

With funding from UNICEF and the Open Society Institute for Southern Africa, Bantwana is:

  • Supporting Swaziland’s National Curriculum Center (NCC) to develop age-appropriate, learner-centered teaching materials;
  • Equipping MoET staff with skills to conduct teacher training;
  • Supporting the MoET to develop and utilize monitoring and evaluation tools; and
  • Engaging parents and community leaders to support the program through  community sensitization activities that promote HIV prevention.


Mobile One-Stop in Mozambique

Through the USAID-funded FCC project, we hosted a mobile one-stop service-delivery event to maximize the quality, coverage, efficiency, and impact of community structures’ HIV/AIDS prevention and response activities in Manica Province.

The estimated adult HIV prevalence rate in that area is 13.5%. It’s a heavily trafficked border post, which likely contributes to that high rate. In Machipanda border post, there are many key populations, including ruck and bus drivers going to and from Zimbabwe, sex workers, informal traders, border police patrols, immigration officers and money exchangers, and young hard-to-reach girls.

Many of these populations are also likely to be gender-based violence perpetrators and victims. Read the following brief to learn more about what our staff, our co-sponsors, local partners, and local organizations learned. You may be surprised what the most common type of service was provided to the 5,675 community members who attended!


#16Days Bantwana Staff Spotlight!

“GBV fuels and perpetuates the cycle of poverty.”

-Nyararai Magudu WEI/B Gender and Education Specialist for FCC.

Our Mozambique FCC team at a GBV prevention and response event

It is imperative to fight GBV as it is a human rights issue. There is a strong relationship between HIV infection and GBV. Therefore, we must prevent GBV as we’re fighting against HIV. In addition, child marriage is a form of GBV.  The rate of child marriage in Mozambique is one of the highest in the world. Some girls are promised to older men, and they’re forced as young children to move to men’s households where they perform domestic tasks until the marriage takes place at age 14 or 15.  Married girls are much less likely than their peers to attend school or to be employed outside of the home. Because of all of this, WEI/Bantwana and our partners will continue to work together to prevent GBV in schools, workplaces, and communities.