What can each of us do to end violence against women?


General Actions: 

  • If you have experienced or are experiencing abuse, know that you are not alone, that there are organizations and persons available to support you and that violence is never justifiable. 
  • Be aware of your own emotions and how you use your power – instead of using disrespectful words or physical action when angry take time to calm down before reacting. 
  • If you suspect that a woman close to you is being abused, let her approach you and be available to listen to her. Do not ask if she has been abused or force her to disclose information.  
  • Become familiar with the issue of violence against women and resources and organizations that support survivors of violence in your area. 
  • Support organizations working to prevent and respond to violence against women. Donate to women’s organizations and share information on their work with others who can support.  
  • Engage in critical yet positive dialogue with your friends and family about gender inequality and gender-based violence. 
  • Encourage men and boys around you to champion the equal rights of girls and women, to challenge gender stereotypes and to express their emotions in ways that do not involve aggression or violence.   

Specific Actions (for specific audiences): 

Men & Boys 

  • Honestly examine yourself, your actions, and how you use your power in your family, place of work or community. How do you promote the equal rights of others and non-violent forms of communication?
  • Work to understand why some men use violence against women and learn how you can be a champion on ending violence, including through challenging your own perceptions and actions.
  • Be an active bystander – when you witness or hear sexism or violence, speak up to show that discrimination and violence is never tolerable and intervene when it is safe and will not put you or another person in danger. Learn more about being an active bystander here.
  • Listen to the women and girls around you, believe them if they share their experience with sexism and/or violence, and do not blame victims or judge them for their experiences.
  • Stand in solidarity with women and girls in your life, recognize their rights, support and encourage their dreams and goals.
  • Educate other the men and boys in your life to respect the equal rights of women and girls and to stand up against sexism and violence against women.
  • Be a role model for the other men and boys in your community.

Companies & Corporations  

  • Develop policies to address gender inequality and uphold zero tolerance for gender-based violence in the workplace.
  • Engage in awareness training over time to prevent inequality and violence in the workplace, which is interactive and covers gender, masculinities, discrimination, inequality and bias.
  • Value men’s and women’s voices and contributions to efforts to promote gender equality – everyone has a role to play.
  • Track data on recruitment, retention and promotion and take steps to create gender parity in the workplace, where men and women are equally represented across positions, including leadership and decision-making.
  • Engage in exercises and activities to develop a healthy, inclusive friendships among colleagues.
  • Take allegations of inequality and/or violence in the workplace seriously. Ensure personnel have information on supports available to victims and take action to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable.

In the family: 

  • Divide housework and domestic responsibilities between all household members, regardless of gender.
  • Encourage boys and girls to participate in different activities and challenge stereotypes about activities or roles being for boys or girls only.
  • Teach children about their body, personal boundaries and safety, consent andtheir right/ability to say no and how to seek help from a trusted person.  
  • Allow children to express themselves freely, listen to children without blame and judgement, and encourage them to identify and seek support from trusted adults when needed.
  • Practice non-violent communication and positive discipline strategies and use supports for families, parents and children available in the community.

For media professionals: 

  • Promote gender equality, diversity and respect in the newsroom. 
  • Ensure safety of female journalists while on the assignment using guidelines to identify and monitor harassment and abuse, and ensure all personnel have access to reporting mechanisms and support
  • Commit to learn about gender-based violence and to report on issues of violence against women accurately, safely and respectfully using ethical and survivor-centred editorial guidelines 
  • Strengthen entity policies on sexual harassment and work-life balance (with special attention to more equitable caring responsibilities among men and women staff) 
  • Assess and monitor how gender stereotypes are featured in media content and create measures to review for stereotypes as part of the editorial process
  • Do no harm, do not over sensationalize reports of violence, and connect with experts where needed 
  • Make the perpetrator visible and do not blame or judge survivors of violence
  • Support and partner with organizations working on ending violence against women by giving the space to express their views in your media outlet 

For donors and development partners:  

  • Deepen and expand funding to civil society and women’s rights organizations as an essential part of women’s and feminist movements 
  • Provide long-term support for programmes that work to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls to enable transformative change
  • Co-design programmes and collaborate with organizations working to end violence against women and girls, using approaches which recognizes their expertise and role as partners 

Change starts with you.

Take action today to help end violence against women. Find out how ►