Public Health Scotland (PHS) is supporting this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, joining a global call for action to prevent violence against women and girls.

Beginning tomorrow (Saturday 25 November) on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ending on Human Rights Day (Sunday 10 December), the campaign highlights the prevalence and extent of this type of violence across the world, and encourages organisations to show how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.

This year’s theme in Scotland is ‘Imagine a Scotland without Gender-Based Violence’. At PHS this will help us focus on the actions needed to improve public health across a range of outcomes and create a Scotland where all individuals are equally safe and respected.

Ruth Glassborow, Director of Place and Wellbeing at PHS, said:

"Women and girls in Scotland are subjected to violence and abuse every day, including domestic abuse, female genital mutilation, childhood sexual abuse and forced marriage. This has an impact on individuals and across communities, leading to significant harms for health and wellbeing.

"We can imagine a Scotland where we all feel safe in our communities, because gender-based violence can be eradicated with sustained effort and collaboration. We need to recognise it as a major public health and human rights issue and turn our attention to primary prevention if we are to make strides to prevent violence against women and girls.

"Through the national Equally Safe strategy, Public Health Scotland is committed to working with partners to implement a public health approach to protect women and children from the impact of violence and abuse, address the attitudes that help perpetuate it and stop violence from occurring.”

Earlier this month PHS was pleased to achieve the Equally Safe at Work accreditation, enabling the organisation to implement gender-sensitive employment policies and practices.

Ruth Glassborow continued:

"We are committed to playing our part in advancing gender equality and enabling Scotland to be a place where all women and girls live free from violence and abuse, and are supported to thrive."


Find out more about taking a public health approach to ending violence against women and girls.

Read about the links between violence against women and girls and the six public health priorities.

Find out more about the Equally Safe at Work employer accreditation programme.

For more information on the 2023 campaign visit the Improvement Service website.

Last updated: 24 November 2023