Past Event Observance

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence is a breach of the most sacred moral contract: that everyone has the right to feel safe and secure.

[While] gender-based violence is pervasive, we at USAID fiercely believe that it is also preventable. That’s why we have long partnered with local leaders and organizations, survivors and community groups, women as well as men. We launched the Foundational Elements for Gender-Based Violence Programming in Development to help USAID staff and partners design and implement survivor-centered programs to combat gender-based violence in health systems, workplaces, and schools. We’re addressing violence against women and girls in conflict, crisis, and humanitarian situations – from funding mobile teams in Ukraine providing assistance to survivors displaced by Putin’s war to strengthening judicial systems in Central America to hold perpetrators accountable. And [we launched] the next iteration of the Safe from the Start initiative, which expands protections like case management, psychosocial support, safe spaces, and peer networks for women and girls –including members of the LGBTQI+ community, persons with disabilities, indigenous populations, and other marginalized groups– in humanitarian emergencies.

[In 2022 alone,] USAID has provided gender-based violence prevention and response services to over five million people around the world. But we recognize that there is more work to be done, here at the Agency and beyond. We’re committed to building stronger, more diverse partnerships with organizations led by women and girls as well as those representing LGBTQI+ communities, Indigenous groups, and young people who are frequently the targets of gender-based violence. And we’re committed to engaging men and boys in our efforts by addressing social norms that normalize abusive behaviors and responding to the needs of male survivors.

Together, let’s commit to make the world a safer place for women and girls and others targeted on the basis of gender identity. We must continue finding ways to change social norms and to further prevent, mitigate, and respond to gender-based violence beyond these 16 Days.

Excerpt taken from USAID Administrator Samantha Power's statement, originally posted on

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