16 Days of Activism Toolkit 2023

Respect Women: Let's Call It Out Everywhere Loddon Mallee.

Women’s Health Loddon Mallee has developed this 16 Days of Activism Toolkit and set of campaign resources to support organisations and communities in the Loddon Mallee Region to participate in and lead events and activities as part of the international campaign running during 25 November – 10 December 2023. 

Respect is the building block of healthy attitudes, relationships and communities. By promoting respect, we can work toward preventing violence against women before it starts. 

About 16 Days

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is a global campaign established by the United Nations to raise awareness and encourage communities to take action to end violence against women.  

The annual campaign begins on 25 November, the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women, and ends on 10 December, which is International Human Rights Day. 

About the Theme

Respect Women: Let’s Call it Out Everywhere Loddon Mallee 

Respect Victoria and Safe and Equal support organisations across the state of Victoria to deliver activities as part of the 16 Days of Activism. 

To localise the campaign for our region, Women’s Health Loddon Mallee has established the regional campaign theme for 2023 as: Respect Women: Let’s Call it Out Everywhere Loddon Mallee. 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: What does it mean? 

Respect is the building block of healthy attitudes, relationships and communities. By promoting respect, we can work toward preventing violence against women before it starts. 

The regional 16 Days campaign for 2023 is underpinned by respect and equality as the foundation for healthy families, workplaces, educational settings, and whole communities. 

What Do You Mean “Call it Out”? 

Everyone deserves to be able to participate in community and family life without fear of harassment, violence or abuse.  

Ending violence against women starts with calling out gender inequality, sexism, harassment, and abuse when we see it. By calling it out we can all start to make a difference in challenging the attitudes and behaviours that drive gendered violence. 

We all have a responsibility to call out the gendered drivers of violence everywhere, including in media, in politics, online, in our homes and workplaces, in our relationships, on the street, in our schools, TAFEs and universities, and in our faith settings.  

For some tips on how to safely call out disrespect against women we recommend checking out this resource: 16 Ways to Call Out Disrespect. 

This video series by Our Watch ‘Doing Nothing Does Harm’ provides some examples of what calling it out can look like. 

Primary Prevention - Our Approach

Our vision is a region where women and children live free from violence, in communities that actively support and champion gender equality. 

Women’s Health Loddon Mallee is committed to ending violence against women in the Loddon Mallee Region. We work to address harmful gendered structures, norms and practices across all levels of society, with a vision to create a gender equitable world in which all people are free from gendered violence. 

Our Focus: 
Our focus on Primary prevention action addresses the key drivers of violence as outlined in Change the Story – the national framework for the prevention of violence against women.

They include ways to 

  • Challenge the condoning of violence against women 
  • Promote women’s independence in public life and relationships 
  • Build new social norms that foster personal identities not constrained by rigid gender stereotypes 
  • Support men and boys in developing healthy masculinities and positive, supportive male peer relationships  

CARE Partnership:
WHLM provide backbone support for the Collective Action for Respect and Equality (CARE) Partnership.

Through the CARE Partnership we take a collective approach to promoting gender equality and supporting actions to address the key drivers of violence against women and girls in our region. 

The CARE Partnership builds workforce capacity and advances primary prevention efforts in our region through professional development opportunities, workshops and other events, newsletters, and a regional Community of Practice.

Responding to Resistance

Gender equality campaigns can be met with resistance. It can be useful to have a clear plan in place for how your organisation or community group will respond to any backlash or resistance that may emerge in response to your campaign or activity. 

When dealing directly with backlash it is important to identify whether a response is needed and if so, ensure your response is considered carefully with support from team members in your organisation. 

1. Determine if You Need to Respond

Will a response have a positive effect in the long term? 

Is the media response damaging to the key messages of the campaign? Or damaging to the organisation(s) associated with the campaign? 

Will your response assist in the promotion of the key messages of your campaign?

2. Respond as a Unified Team

If you do feel that it will be beneficial to respond, make sure you’ve done your research, know your facts and have spoken with everyone on your team, within your own organisation and with partners, before making any public response.

3. How to Frame Your Response

Here are some Framing Tips from Safe and Equal: Talking About Change.

4. Don’t pander to the Vocal Minority

Resist the temptation to pander to arguments traditionally put forward by those who excuse or minimise men’s violence against women, or engage in myth-busting. Instead focus on telling your progressive story to the vast majority of people who are persuadable on the issue.

Be Solutions Focused: Spend more time talking about people’s role in the solution and less time talking about their role in the problem, in order to avoid activating shame and defensiveness.

Use the Power of Social Norming: Don’t imply traditional masculine norms are ‘dominant’ or widely accepted. Instead, point out that most people think traditional masculine stereotypes are harmful and believe men should be freed from them.

4. Be Authentic and Transparent

Your response should hold true to your organisation’s values and the key messages of the campaign. 

Take time to address any systemic, underlying issues and prepare a response that is authentic, honest, transparent and proactive—but also comprehensive, hitting every note.

5. Anticipate Backlash and be Prepared

Identify any vulnerable points within the campaign or activity that may make you open to criticism, and plan how response. 

Have a plan for afterhours comments on social media platforms to be monitored if the campaign is getting ‘noisy’.

6. Responding to Sexist or Discriminatory Comments

It’s tricky when a friend, co-worker, or loved one comes out with a statement (online or in-person) that justifies or excuses violence against women and supports sexism.  

For more tips on responding to backlash and sexism, including how to respond to common myths visit 16 Ways to Call It Out.


The Loddon Mallee #respectischallenge 
is a 16 Days of Activism Regional Social Media Campaign 

Let’s flood social media with messages of respect and equality! 

This year Women’s Health Loddon Mallee is encouraging everyone in the region to get behind the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and share what respect means to them on their social media account, using the tag: #respectischallenge 

This is a simple and fun way for individuals and communities in the Loddon Mallee region* to get involved in the 16 Days of Activism campaign in their workplaces, schools, local cafes, places of worship, and other community groups and hangouts! 

16 Days Calendar

WHLM has established a regional calendar for 16 Days activities in the Loddon Mallee. Register your activity and check out what other events and activities are happening across our region. 

Campaign Assets

Women’s Health Loddon Mallee have developed a suite of shareable campaign resources to assist organisations, councils and individuals participating in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

We recommend using these hashtags to gain greater reach and engagement across your social media channels.


Intersectionality and Inclusion in Action

When planning and delivering campaigns and activities, it is important to keep in mind the diversity that exists in our communities, and take into consideration power structures, forms of oppression, beliefs and attitudes that may compound disadvantage for some groups and individuals. To achieve equality and respect for all women, gender inequality cannot be seen as separate from other forms of discrimination and disadvantage that women experience. 

Intersectionality is the acknowledgement that power structures and systems of disadvantage overlap and cause compounding forms of oppression and discrimination. It takes into consideration aspects of a person’s social and political identity such as their gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, geographic location, and more. 

Putting intersectionality and inclusion into action can look like:

  • Seeking out partnerships in planning your activities with local organisations and community groups that work alongside Aboriginal communities, LGBTIQ+ communities, Multicultural communities or people with disabilities.
  • Inviting representatives and experts from diverse community groups or organisations to speak at your event or take part in the activity you are planning.
  • Removing barriers for people with a disability by providing an Auslan interpreter at your event and ensuring your venue is accessible.
  • Inviting local Aboriginal Elders to open your event, Acknowledge Country, and/or speak to the issues you are addressing.
  • Remembering it is important to avoid tokenism and box-ticking. Removing barriers to diverse representation and inclusion takes ongoing commitment and respect. 

Intersectional Resources

Intersectional Resources: 

Below we have listed some resources to assist with your project planning, in a way that considers multiple experiences and perspectives and that actively includes communities that are most greatly impacted by discrimination and violence. 

First Nations People 

LGBTIQ+ Communities 

People with Disabilities 

Multicultural Communities