The Global 16 Days Campaign to end gender-based violence takes place every year between 25 November to 10 December. The Campaign raises awareness and calls for the elimination of violence against women and girls worldwide. Each year, ESCWA, in partnership with the Arab Institute for Women at the Lebanese American University, holds a youth arts competition and social media campaign to mark the Campaign. 2021's chosen theme centers on combatting online and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) related and facilitated violence against women and girls, titled "Virtual spaces, real consequences: ending online violence against women and girls.”
The theme reflects the reality that online harassment was one of the highest reported forms of violence against women and girls in the Arab region during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes gender-based slurs, sexual harassment, cyber stalking, bullying, non-consensual distribution of intimate images and electronically enabled trafficking, amid others. Not only is online and ICT-related and facilitated violence a human rights violation, but it can also lead to women and girls reducing their presence online, further increasing the gender digital divide and limiting digital literacy.
The arts competition is accepting submissions from 1 to 25 November 2021. It is open to all youth under the age of 30 in the Arab region. All forms of art are accepted as submissions, including painting, video, photography, poetry and music. The winners' work is to be showcased at a virtual event on 10 December 2021, during an online awards ceremony which includes a webinar discussion on online and ICT-related and facilitated violence against women and girls in the Arab region. Submissions can be made here: