He for She 16 Days of Activism: What It Is and What You Can Do

As we enter the holiday season, it is important to remember to promote and spread peace and equality towards all people. He For She, a gender equality movement started by the United Nations, is promoting 16 days of activism to prevent violence against women. Beginning on November 25 and ending on December 10, Human Rights Day, the organization will do something every day to increase awareness and prevent violence. Around the world, the color orange is used to represent the movement; last year, landmarks like the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Pyramids in Egypt were lit orange to show their solidarity with women.

PA little bit closer to home, the He For She student organization at BU is promoting the 16 days of activism on campus and around Boston. Since the organization became BU official last year, this is its first year participating in the 16 days movement. He For She will be posting daily on their official Instagram page and they will be promoting the event on Facebook through cover photos and posts.  

“[16 days of activism] is a campaign that I think is amazing because it has engaged the whole world,” He for She President Fran Ogilvie Vaeza said. “What I like best about it, besides its original goal of going beyond education to pursue action in terms of policy changes… [and] giving women and femmes a voice and backing through all forms of violence, UN Women has found a way to unite the whole world through something as simple as lighting up landmarks in solidarity.”

The organization will be taking steps to end violence against women in a number of ways. According to an email sent to He for She members, they will tie orange balloons around the BU campus on Nov. 27, each balloon containing a fact about violence against women. On Nov. 29, members will paint the rock behind Marsh orange, and on Dec. 1, the organization will have a table in the GSU with orange ribbons and there will be a Snapchat filter. On December 4, there will be an art exhibit. 

The exhibit will take place in CFA from 6 to 8 pm. The exhibit, which was He For She Coordinator of External Affairs Hadley Alter’s idea, was inspired by Alter’s attendance at the Survivors launch party in New York City this spring. Survivors is a magazine created by NYU student Maria Polzin, who is a friend of Alter’s. The magazine provides an empowering opportunity for sexual assault survivors to express themselves. The exhibit will feature poetry, photography, and a page of code –– and any sort of art the survivors felt moved to create. The art is gathered by both submissions and from the first edition of the magazine. Proceeds from the magazine will be donated to New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault. 

“My hope is people will get the chance to not only admire the art, but also strike up a conversation and learn something they can do to help eliminate gender-based violence,” Alter said.

According to president Fran Ogilvie Vaeza, the organization is also planning to volunteer at The Women’s Lunch Place the week of December 4-10. 


Whether you are a He for She member or not, I encourage you to participate in the 16 days of activism or get involved by simply raising awareness and acting kindly toward all people. 


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