This website is run by the Netherlands Embassy in Harare as part of our annual campaign to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.

This is the second year we are running a public search for champions. You can learn more about last year’s campaign and the amazing champions you helped us to discover via our YouTube channel here.

Please read on to find out more about this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign or click here to nominate your champion now.

The 16 Days

About  35% of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual  intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives, though some estimates put this figure closer to 70%. In 2020, Covid-19 lockdowns around the world put even more women in danger.

The Netherlands Embassy supports the work of Zimbabwean partners fighting GBV including Musasa Project and Adult Rape Clinic to ensure that survivors can get the help they need. They have reported a 70% increase in cases since lockdown began.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. Each year, the 16 Days starts on November 25 – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – and runs to 10 December – Human Rights Day. Given the spike in GBV around the globe, this year’s event is more important than ever.

Infographic from IFRC

Our Campaign

In 2018 and 2019 we identified 16 champions working in diverse ways to make life better for girls and women in Zimbabwe and are doing so once more in 2020.

To recognise their work, short videos are made for release over each of the 16 Days of Activism. They are also given a trophy and media coverage through our partners.

Moreover, we were delighted in 2020 to launch the Gender Champion fund which also made small grants to selected winners that qualify for support under the Dutch Human Rights Fund. Selected projects were awarded US$5.000 to improve their impact and we are excited to see how especially the smaller, very innovative projects can make change happen in their communities.

Who are we looking for?

We have a broad definition of what makes a gender champion, and our finalists are not limited to any background or occupation. After all – everyone has a role to play in ending gender-based violence, and inequality in all its forms contributes to violence against women. From Hwange to Harare, Bubie to Binga, we want to hear about men and women you know that are supporting and inspiring girls and women, pushing for equality, living as role models, and of course about those pushing back against gender based violence.

Previous champions have included IT experts, lawyers, foster parents, mentors, athletes, traditional leaders, civil servants, musicians, businesspeople, and many others. They are often ‘ordinary’ people driven to do more for the girls and women around them. They include champions from Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Marondera, Chiredzi, Chimanimani, Hwange and even the Zambezi Valley!

So please nominate someone today. Our judges will select the final 16 to be honoured during the 16 Days of Activism 2020.

The four goals of Dutch international gender policy are:

  1. Increasing women’s political participation and leadership
  2. Enhancing women’s’ economic empowerment and the economic environment for women
  3. Preventing and combating violence against women and girls, and;

Strengthening the role of women in conflict prevention and peace processes and guaranteeing their protection in conflict situations.

The Netherlands works towards gender equality by including women’s rights and gender equality in all aspects of foreign policy through gender mainstreaming. This means including the specific interests and needs of women and girls when working on human rights, safety and stability, foreign trade and development cooperation.

More information on Dutch gender policy is available here.