End Violence against Women

The Issue

To raise awareness and trigger action to end the global scourge of violence against women and girls, the UN observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence which follow (ending on 10 December, Human Rights Day) are a chance to mobilize and raise awareness.

Orange your neighbourhood logo

This year, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign invites you to “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood,” with the colour designated by the UNiTE campaign to symbolize a brighter future without violence. Organize events to orange your local streets, shops and schools!

infographic tile for violence against women affecting 1 in 3 women worldwide

Sobering numbers show that 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner; about 120 million girls have been forced into intercourse or other sexual acts at some point in their lives; and 133 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation.

Ending violence against women is one of UN Women’s key priorities, with myriad programmes to address the pandemic globally. UN Women also coordinates the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE campaign, supports widespread social mobilization through its Say NO – UNiTE social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter, and manages the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.

The Beijing promise

The Beijing Platform for Action turns 20 logo in Orange

At the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, UN Member States adopted the path-breaking Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, taking up the global call to end all forms of violence against women and girls by highlighting violence against women as one of 12 critical areas of concern. They recognized that violence is one of the main mechanisms denying women equality, and that it imposes high social, health and economic costs.

Since Beijing, an historic two-thirds of countries have put laws on the books to stop domestic violence. Advocacy campaigns around the world have heightened awareness and galvanized actions to stop violence. Yet gaps in laws, implementation of legal protection and essential services remain. Momentum has begun, but needs to rapidly accelerate.

This year, as we near the 20th anniversary of Beijing, we take a look at how violence is not only an area of concern in its own right, but one which cuts across and intersects with each of the critical areas of concern.

See how:


Click on each of the tiles above for more


News

Watch the archived webcast of the official commemoration
  • Watch the speech delivered by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the official UN commemoration of the International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women; Read his speech; Read his message.
  • Watch the speech delivered by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the official UN commemoration; Read her speech; Read her statement at the Noon briefing.
  • Watch the speech delivered by actress Teri Hatcher at the official UN commemoration of 25 November 2014; Read her speech.
  • UN Women Executive Director Phumzil Mlambo-Ngcuka's message for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November 2014
    [in English; Spanish; French; Chinese; Arabic; Russian]
  • Press releases and coverage:

  • In Times Square, NASDAQ and Reuters screens go orange with anti-violence messages (25 November 2014)
  • Press release: UN Women and New York City sign agreement to enhance safety and empowerment of women (25 November 2014)
  • Press release: A global call to “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood” galvanizes communities to stop violence against women (24 November 2014)
  • Media advisory: UN commemoration of the International Day to End Violence against Women, 25 November 2014 (19 November 2014)
  • Letter from UN Women's Executive Director to the news media: Orange your news and newsrooms to raise awareness of violence against women

  • "Now is the time for action" — Executive Director

    In her message ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka stresses that violence against women can and must end by addressing its root cause – gender inequality. More

    In the words of ...
    Nicole Kidman

    UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and Academy Award-winner Nicole Kidman raises awareness to end violence against women. She urges all members of society to play their part in halting this pandemic that affects one in three women and girls globally. More

    In Focus: Violence against women

    As part of UN Women's Beijing+20 campaign, this editorial package focuses on the social, health and economic costs of violence against women and the efforts in legislation and advocacy to prevent this human rights violation that affects one-in-three women worldwide. More

    Quiz on Women and Poverty

    Jewelry for a cause
    Nicole Kidman sports the Soko bracelet. Photo: UN Women/Toby Morris

    The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women has teamed up with Soko, an ethical social enterprise in Kenya, to create a unique pair of handmade orange bracelets to raise awareness and funds for UN Trust Fund programmes. Get yours today!