16 Days of Activism: How can we show up against GBV?

Kolisi Foundation 2021 Theme:

During this ’16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV)’ the Kolisi Foundation focused on the theme: How to show up against GBV. The series of video clips focussed on providing practical tips, thoughts and questions for individual’s, families, communities, businesses and men to apply in the different settings and environments. To create a more tangible way for people to be aware of their role within this fight. We invited four grassroot organisations within the GBV space into a room to share their knowledge and experiences.

Now, how can you show up against GBV?

How can individuals show up against gender-based violence?

“It is not the responsibility of the oppressed to teach people about morality, it’s a self-responsibility. And it’s the same with gender-based violence, you need to self-educate.” – Pabi Mbedzi (Founder: I Hear You)


Ask yourself:

Do you know what constitutes GBV?

Do you know what the terms’ toxic masculinity’ and ‘feminism’ mean?

Are you aware of the issue; globally and close to home?

Do you know where to report a GBV crime?

Do you know how to help a survivor of GBV?

Click HERE to watch the clip on YouTube.

How can families show up against gender-based violence?

“What kind of conversations are you having with your boys? How are you raising your boys? Are they respectful?” – Rachel Kolisi (Co-Founder: Kolisi Foundation)


Addressing gender-based violence (GBV) starts at home:

Do you lead by example? “Children watch what their parents do, not only what they say.”

Are you speaking to your sons openly about GBV to avoid normalising it?

How are you raising your boys to be respectful?

Do you give your children the space to discuss GBV?

How do gender roles at home and family dynamics contribute to wrongful thinking and actions?

Are you having conversations at home? Often perpetrators are people who are close to us.

Click HERE to watch the clip on YouTube.

How can businesses show up against gender-based violence?

“We need to start engaging in normal ways; it is not something you have to have grand placards where you protest. No, that’s not how you show up. Showing up is in those private spaces, in workspaces, in church spaces, or whatever religious spaces you are in, and at home.” –Tarisai Mchuchu-MacMillan (MOSAIC: Executive Director)


Businesses have a responsibility to play their part:

Are you partnering with grassroot organisations in the gender-based violence (GBV) space to learn from?

Do you stand up against sexist comments in the workplace?

Are you investing in workshops surrounding anti-GBV education?

Do you allocate funding to support organisations working in the GBV space?

Do you have systems in place to protect your staff members, together with the necessary policies and protocols?

Are you having conversations with your male staff members around the topic of GBV and toxic masculinity?

Click HERE to watch the clip on YouTube.

How can communities show up against gender-based violence?

“We need to show up by believing survivors, by not treating it as a private violence. It is important that people know they will be believed. This is a way that we can ensure that violence does not thrive because violence thrives in silence.” –Tarisai Mchuchu-MacMillan (MOSAIC: Executive Director)


Communities play a critical role within the gender-based violence (GBV) space:

Are your community creating safe spaces for men not to exude toxic masculinity?

Are you engaging and supporting organisations on the ground?

Are you actively doing something to address GBV in your community?

Are you leading actions to educate your community on GBV?

Do you give them time and assistance to a survivor saying they had experienced a form of GBV?

Click HERE to watch the clip on YouTube.

How can men show up against gender-based violence?

Men, wherever they are, they need to start changing their conversations.” – Luyolo Lengisi-Hawule (Founder: Langa for Men)


It is the responsibility of men to address and stop gender-based violence (GBV):

Do you surround yourself and your children with clear examples and role models?

What type of conversations are you having amongst other men about women?

Are you encouraging and initiating conversation amongst men around the topic of GBV?

Are you creating a space where men can communicate vulnerably?

Are you physically showing up in spaces created by women to combat and eradicate GBV?

Are you addressing and unpacking toxic masculinity in casual conversations?

Are you being complicit, or are you calling someone out when they commit a form of GBV?

Do you have an accountability partner?

Click HERE to watch the clip on YouTube.

About 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence:

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and coordinated yearly by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organising strategy by individuals and organisations worldwide to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

To read more about the Kolisi Foundation’s Gender-Based Violence Strategic Focus Area click HERE.

Photo Credit – Carli-Ann Furno