Thursdays in Black Ambassadors: Joint Statement on 16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence

24 November 2020

Sixteen days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence has been commemorated since 1991.  It begins on November 25th, the International Day against Violence against Women, and ends on December 10th, International Human Rights Day.

Recognized by the World Council of Churches as part of its commitment to justice and peace, 16 Days is a collective call by people to declare that violence against women IS a violation of Human Rights.

As Thursdays in Black Ambassadors for the WCC, we invite all persons of goodwill to join us in educating others about, and seeking the end of, Gender-Based Violence.

Together, we must protect those who are vulnerable and abused. We can create safe spaces for all people who are targets of this violence, especially women and girls in our societies.

We should promote transformative masculinities and femininities based on respect and

We can honour resistance and resilience to violence – and dream of a world without fear of sexual and gender-based harassment, abuse and violence.   

Gender-Based Violence is not only physical, it is emotional, mental and even structural. We know that violence against women and girls occurs virtually and literally in every strata of society: in households, at school, in religious spaces and in the workplace. 

And with ongoing physical restrictions due to the spread of the coronavirus, violence against women and girls has intensified. The resolve to end Gender-Based Violence must remain strong. 

As Ambassadors, we have, in our various spaces, worked to effect change in policies and practices in our churches, workplaces and communities.  Together with the WCC we are actively involved in preparing liturgies and Bible studies, which challenge attitudes and norms that foster Gender-Based Violence.

Physical distancing demands that our houses of residence and of worship are not opened to the public as they might otherwise have been.  Therefore we must increase our awareness to recognize signs of abuse and identify ways to offer support through other physical and virtual safe spaces for those who feel unsafe in their homes.

As people of faith and of goodwill, we appeal to individuals and community agencies to stop the spread of Gender-Based Violence: 

Participate in the 16 Days of Activism by learning more, speaking out, inviting others to take a stand against violence.

Find and share with others your local crisis services.

Post your photos where you are involved in the work to end Gender-Based Violence in your context on social media using #16Days and #ThursdaysinBlack.

We all must get involved. Every body. Every day. Not just for 16 days. Not just for Thursdays. 

We will make a difference when we work together.

Join us. Thursdays in Black – towards a world without rape and violence.



Dr Agnes Abuom, Moderator, World Council of Churches Central Committee

Rev. Claudia Bandixen, Switzerland

Rev. Michael Blair, General Secretary, General Council, The United Church of Canada

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Rev. Dr Chris Ferguson, General Secretary, World Communion of Reformed Churches

Ms. Larissa Aguiar Garcia, Brazil 

Rev. Dr Anders Göranzon, General Secretary of the Swedish Bible Society

Dr Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Chief Executive, Rozaria Memorial Trust

Mr Jouni Hemberg, Executive Director, Finn Church Aid

The Rev. Susan C. Johnson, National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

Mrs Alison Judd, World President, World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women

Rev. Dr Tapio Luoma, Archbishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland

Rev. Damon Mkandawire, Hospital Administrator, Mbereshi Mission Hospital, Zambia

Ms Hanbeet Rhee, Ecumenical Youth Council in Korea

Rev. Dr Karen Georgia Thompson, Associate General Minister for Wider Church Ministries and Operations and Co-Executive for Global Ministries, United Church of Christ

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, Presiding Bishop, Bishops Conference of the Church of Norway

Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, Geneva Secretary, World Methodist Council