This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including December 1, which is World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre in 1989, when 14 women students were massacred by a lone gun-man opposed to the affirmative action policies promoted by feminists at the University of Montreal.
Since it began, the 16 Days of Activism has been used as an organising strategy by women’s groups to call for the elimination of violence against women by:
- Raising awareness about gender based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels
- Strengthening local work around violence against women
- Establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women
- Providing a forum in which organisers can develop and share effective strategies
- Demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organising against violence against women
- Creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women