Ending Gender-based Violence Globally
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) affirms its commitment to preventing and responding to violence during the fourth year of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. Observed annually from November 25 to December 10, the campaign brings together communities, organizations, and individuals worldwide to raise awareness of gender-based violence and call for its end.
With support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC works with partners in 46 countries to achieve global targets to end the HIV epidemic. While progress is being made, some people, including adolescent girls and young women, bear a disproportionate burden of HIV. Women with a history of physical and/or sexual abuse are more likely to be living with HIV, especially if that abuse started during childhood. HIV-related stigma, discrimination, and violence restrict access to prevention and treatment services for those most at risk, serving as persistent barriers to ending the HIV epidemic.
Violence against youth is also a global public health problem, with one in eight young people reporting having experienced sexual abuse. The results can be devastating—leading to long-term psychological, social, and physical harm. Violence prevention and response for youth is a global priority and complementary to efforts to eliminate all barriers to HIV treatment and prevention and accelerate progress toward ending the HIV epidemic.
This year’s campaign highlights the urgent call to “End inequalities. End HIV.” by breaking down barriers posed by gender disparities and violence. Stories featured this year have a keen focus on:
- Engaging young people for youth-led solutions to address stigma
- Strengthening youth’s skills and economic empowerment
- Using Violence Against Children and Youth data to create actions that measurably reduce violence
- Focusing on health equity by putting people at the center of our efforts.
Gender-based violence (GBV) is any form of violence against an individual based on biological sex, gender identity or expression, or perceived adherence to socially defined expectations of what it means to be a man or woman, boy or girl. This includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse; threats; coercion; arbitrary deprivation of liberty; and economic deprivation, whether in public or private life. In addition, GBV is rooted in gender-related power differences.
Starting with the 16 Days of Activism, we invite you to explore the stories and learn how CDC works with our local partners to and respond to gender-based violence as part of our commitment to end inequalities and end AIDS. By amplifying voices worldwide, CDC aims to continue to increase awareness of gender-based violence—and ultimately save lives.
We encourage you to learn how to help eliminate gender-based violence, as well as stigma and discrimination in your community, and take action for change.
When Sheila was forced to quit school due to lack of funds, and Mariam became dependent on boyfriends for an income, their futures remained uncertain. Learn how a CDC and PEPFAR program helped these women discover hope, answers, and newfound empowerment.
For teens struggling to understand sexuality and sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, finding community can be a challenge. Learn how CDC’s new initiative aims to break down barriers and empower youth to create the change needed for their peers.