Open letter to the media: Orange your news and newsrooms to raise awareness of violence against women

A letter from UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Date: 17 November 2014

Dear editors, reporters, anchors of news organizations, bloggers,

I am writing to you with a personal invitation from UN Women. On 25 November, we will commemorate the International Day to End Violence against Women. It will kick off 16 days of global activism, until 10 December, to halt this gross violation of women’s human rights that affects at least 1 in 3 women and girls worldwide. It is a pandemic that we must stop. To do so, we need your help.

The colour orange has been chosen for the issue to symbolize a brighter future without violence against women. UN Women and its partners will hold orange-themed events around the world to raise awareness and show solidarity with survivors of abuse.

I am inviting you to join us and play your part as important influencers of public awareness and opinion. Demonstrate your support and tell your audiences and readers that this issue is of personal importance to you.  If you are a TV journalist, encourage your channel to turn its newsroom orange or wear an orange piece of clothing on 25 November to bring your viewers news and interviews on the issue. If your medium is print, present your stories under an orange banner. If you are on the radio, make sure you highlight the urgency of ending this pandemic that affects a billion women worldwide. If you are at a public event, wear orange and tell people why you are doing so. An editorial focus on ending violence against women and girls, no matter where you are and what your outlet, will inform your large audiences, point to successful approaches to end the violence, and provide advice and support for survivors.

At UN Women, we stand ready to assist if needed. We can facilitate interviews with experts, provide data and statistics, or point you to exemplary initiatives. If I can be of help, let me know.  You may want to avail your organization of the content we have produced in the context of our campaign on the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, including op-eds by our Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman and myself. You will also find an all-orange logo of the campaign for your use in this month’s package

I hope you will decide to be our partners in the global effort to end violence against women and girls. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our communications colleagues, listed above, for further questions.

I wish to thank you in advance for your consideration. If we all pull together, we can put an end to violence against women and girls.

Sincerely yours,

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
Executive Director, UN Women