16 days: what will you do?

16 days of Activism against gender-based violence is an annual international campaign which calls for the end of violence against women and girls. 

It runs from 25 November, which is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until Human Rights Day on 10 December. 

The theme for 2021 is ‘What Will You Do?’ and people are being asked to consider what they can do to play their part in this vital activity by making a pledge of their action.

What will you do?

There are a number of ways that you can get involved in 16 days of activism and commit to positive change in our area. 

Take a 'what will you do?' pledge

Download an official pledge card, make your own pledge and share it on your social media and in other groups. Not sure what a pledge could look like? Here are some examples: 

  • I pledge to discuss what else we can do to improve gender equality and tackle violence against women and girls in my organisation or community group
  • I pledge to make sure we have zero tolerance of violence against women and girls in our organisation and that this is reflected in our values
  • I pledge to talk to my peers about the way we think and talk about women and girls
  • I pledge to speak up when I witness or am made aware of sexual harassment or abuse against women and girls

Update your online meeting background

You can use the official campaign background in any virtual meetings during 16 days... to signal your support and start conversations in your workplace or community group about gender-based violence. Download backgrounds and instructions.

Sign a personal ‘White Ribbon’ pledge

Most men in Scotland are not violent towards women but many ignore the problem and see it as something that has nothing to do with them. Over 2000 people have signed the White Ribbon pledge marking their personal commitment never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women in all its forms. Visit the White Ribbon Scotland website.

Investigate training opportunities

Many workplaces offer training to staff on dealing with sexual harrassment or assault and domestic violence. Domestic violence can also include coercive or financial control. Find out if your workplace offers this training and sign-up for a session if they do. 

Find out more about the support networks

Find out more about support networks in your area and the services that exist. In East and Midlothian this includes: 

Women’s Aid East and Midlothian – domestic abuse support for women and children and young people  
Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre – Advocacy Service
FearFree Domestic Abuse Service for any man or LGBTQI+ person experiencing domestic abuse
Shakti Women’s Aid support for black and minority ethnic women 
Families First Midlothian for men who have been abusive towards a partner or ex-partner and would like help – call 0131 285 9600 (Midlothian only)
No 11 Women’s Social Supper in Dalkeith – weekly free event for women to socialise, feel pampered and enjoy food and refreshments – FaceBook Group (Midlothian only)
Anam Cara support to empower women through developing life changing resilience skills

National Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline – for anyone 
National Respect Phoneline Choose to stop – help for domestic violence perpetrators

Make ending gender-based violence everyone’s business

Talk with your friends, colleagues, peers, children and young people about what safe, respectful and healthy behaviours look like and what you can do. 

Find out more

Follow us on social media to find out more about our activities locally during 16 days:
East and Midlothian Public Protection Committee

East Lothian Council

East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership

Edinburgh Rape Crisis

Midlothian Council

Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership

NHS Lothian

Police Scotland

Women’s Aid East and Midlothian