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 third year we are running a public search for champions.

Read on to find out more about the Dutch Embassy’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%. 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 serious rise in gender-based violence around the world, this year’s event is more important than ever.

Infographic from IFRC

Our Campaign

Each year since 2018 we have identified 16 champions working in diverse ways to make life better for girls and women in Zimbabwe. We are delighted to continue to build our network of gender champions in 2021. Our gender champions are nominated by you and a panel of judges selects the final 16. These 16 final champions benefit from the following:

  1. A short film to publicise their work through social media
  2. A US$5.000 grant under the Dutch Human Rights Fund to take their projects or ideas to the next level
  3. Significant media exposure during the course of the campaign
  4. Inclusion in our gender champion network with opportunities for training, support and networking on an ongoing basis.

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:

*  Increasing women’s political participation and leadership

* Enhancing women’s economic empowerment and the economic environment for women

* 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.