The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based violence happens every year between 25 November and 10 December. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the campaign with the theme focusing on ending femicide under the hashtag #LetsEndFemicide. According to the World Health Organisation, femicide is “generally understood to involve intentional murder of women because they are women.” It continues to say that “while our understanding of femicide is limited, we know that a large proportion of femicides are of women in violent relationships, and are committed by current or former partners.”
Worldwide, lockdowns have exacerbated violence against women and femicide. President Cyril Ramaphosa declared gender-based violence a “national crisis” in April 2019. The government is implementing the Emergency Response Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, which was announced by President Ramaphosa in September 2019. In South Africa, the theme for the 16 Days of Activism 2021 is: “The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke – 16 Days of Activism – moving from awareness to accountability”.