From November 25 to December 10, UN Women encourages everyone to raise their voices to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. Thus the 16 days of Activism international campaign was born.

First originated from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute and coordinated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991, now each year thousands of people use their voice to break the silence and engage in constructive dialogue to highlight women.

November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and December 10 is Human Rights Day. These two significant dates depict a long path ahead we must walk to achieving a more equitable world, starting with ending violence against women and girls and the ending with achieving parity and equal human rights in which that violence has been eradicated.

The UN notes that in recent years the “voices of survivors and activists, through campaigns such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, #Niunamenos, #NotOneMore, #BalanceTonPorc and others, have reached a crescendo…” More than ever, the voices of women must be heard and their myriad stories told to break stereotypes, to encourage equality and freedom, and to offer inspiration to anyone who is working toward a more equitable world for all.

This year, we at the Gibran Chair will be taking part in the 16 days of Activism campaign to highlight 16 of the Middle East and North Africa’s most prominent Arab women pioneers and share their inspiring stories.

“These Arab women pioneers,” notes Gibran Chair director May Rihani, “might already be household names and some might be less known, however, they all deserve our attention. These pioneering figures changed their countries thanks to their enormous contributions to women’s rights, education, academia, health, science, politics, literature, art, architecture, media, aviation, and many other fields. They worked towards a future of equity, equality, and justice as basic values.”

We will follow the UN’s #HearMeToo hashtag and create our own hashtag: #16Pioneers

You can follow the conversation on our Twitter @GibranChair. Join us from November 25 to December 10 in highlighting our #16Pioneers

16 pioneers