Orange the world to end violence against women

This year, to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world, the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign aims to “Orange the world.” During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, from International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November to Human Rights Day on 10 December, “Orange Events” will take place around the world.

Date: 02 November 2015

10 December

Orange messages were flashed across spraying water on the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul on 10 December 2015. Photo: UN Women/Ventura Formicone
Orange messages were flashed across spraying water on the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul on 10 December 2015. Photo: UN Women/Ventura Formicone

In Istanbul on 10 December, a ceremony closing the 16 days of activism to end violence against women included speeches by UN Women’s Executive Director, UNFPA Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Turkey’s Minister for Family and Social Policies and the Mayor of Istanbul. It also featured a video screening, notes hung on a ‘wishing tree’, and concluded with a water, light and laser show over the Bosphorus Strait, with participants enjoying the view from an orange-lit Maiden Tower, one of the city’s major landmarks. The event was co-hosted by UN Women and the Mayor of Istanbul.

4 December

In Kathmandu, Nepal's Parliament building turned orange. Photo: Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi/UNDP
In Kathmandu, Nepal's Parliament building turned orange. Photo: Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi/UNDP

Nepal’s Parliament building in Kathmandu turned orange as part of the UNiTE campaign's 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based violence on 4 December. This year, The Government of Nepal has enacted legislation on witchcraft accusations and workplace sexual harassment, and also put in place a five-year national strategy and action plan for ending gender-based violence.

Students at Beijing Normal University and Beijing Royal School wore orange to spread messages on ending violence against women. Photo: UN Women
Students at Beijing Normal University and Beijing Royal School wore orange to spread messages on ending violence against women. Photo: UN Women

In China, for the #16days of Activism, Beijing Normal University and Beijing Royal School partnered with UN Women to “orange the campus.” Students wore orange and shared messages on ending violence against women online and at offline events. As part of a programme to end violence against women and girls and foster healthy relationships, UN Women China, in partnership with Beijing Royal School, started a peer education programme for secondary school students on 4 December. The programme trained 48 secondary school students, both boys and girls, using the regional Change Makers toolkit. The participants learned about gender issues, stereotypes and norms that drive violence against women, and how to use social media effectively to advocate for gender equality and preventing specific forms of violence prevalent among their peers and community.

3 December

In Timor Leste, young people organized a pop-up event at one of the main public transportation terminals with dance performances to raise awareness about violence against women. Photo: UN Women/Christina Yiannakis
In Timor Leste, young people organized a pop-up event at one of the main public transportation terminals with dance performances to raise awareness about violence against women. Photo: UN Women/Christina Yiannakis

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence was commemorated in Dili, Timor-Leste with a pop-up event at one of the main public transportation terminals featuring music created by young artists sending a message against violence. This was followed by a theatre performance on the importance of girl’s education, as well as a dance number which attracted the attention of the passersby. The art and performances featured during the Festival has been created by Timorese artists and young people expressing themselves and their ideas on gender, safety and change across the Dili cityscape. 

30 November

Government Building in Pristina, Kosovo (under UN Security Council Resolution 1244). Photo: UNKT/Arben Llapashtica
The Government Building in Pristina, Kosovo was lit orange. Photo: UNKT / Arben Llapashtica -

The main government building in Pristina, Kosovo (under UN Security Council Resolution 1244) was lighted in orange to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence. A photo exhibition titled Everyday Hereos and Heroines for Gender Equality was shown at the campaign kick-off. The 16 pictures that comprised the exhibition were taken by youth aged 14 to 20 years and portray their personal heroes and heroines for gender equality who fight to achieve a more equal society in their everyday lives. The photos are also showcased online on the campaign website.

25 November

The Presidential Palace in Quito, Ecuador was lit orange in response to the UNiTE campaign’s call to “Orange the world”.  Photo: UN Women/Martin Jaramillo
The Middle of the World Monument in Quito, Ecuador was lit orange on 25 November. Photo: UN Women/Martin Jaramillo

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women the emblematic Middle of the World Monument in Quito, Ecuador was lit up in orange to call for action to end violence against women and girls.

Women scaled the Nevada Huayna Potosi glacier in Bolivia. Photo: UN Women
Women scaled the Nevada Huayna Potosi glacier in Bolivia. Photo: UN Women 

Women’s organizations and women from all over Bolivia organized a hike to the Nevado Huayna Potosi glacier, near La Paz in northeast Bolivia during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. They left their footprints on the glacier to show their determination to end violence against women and girls.

Sweden’s Globen was lit orange during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Photo: UN Women Sverige/Sofia Gustafsson
Sweden’s Globen was lit orange during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Photo: UN Women Sverige/Sofia Gustafsson

The Globen in Sweden is Scandinavia’s largest event district with 2 million visitors each year. It was one of five famous Swedish landmarks to be lit in orange during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

The Abu Simbel Temples in Egypt, went orange to show support for ending violence against women. Photo: UN Women
The Abu Simbel Temples in Egypt, went orange to show support for ending violence against women. Photo: UN Women

The ancient Abu Simbel Temples in Nubia, southern Egypt were bathed in orange light in solidarity with the UNiTE campaign’s call to “Orange the world” and end violence against women and girls.  

In Indonesia, Jakarta's most iconic Monument National MONAS turns orange for 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Photo: UN Women
In Indonesia, Jakarta's most iconic Monument National MONAS turns orange for 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Photo: UN Women

In Indonesia, Jakarta's most iconic Monument National MONAS turned orange, with support from theJakarta Government, as part of efforts to “Orange the world” and end violence against women and girls. 

As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, UN Women  in Yemen organized an event to orange the world. Participants released orange balloons with messages of freedom from violence for women and girls. Photo: UN Women/Eman Alawami
As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, UN Women  in Yemen organized an event to orange the world. Participants released orange balloons with messages of freedom from violence for women and girls. Photo: UN Women/Eman Alawami
 

Coinciding with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, UN Women in Yemen organized an orange event in the UN common premises in collaboration with the office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Yemen. It began with a welcome speech by UN Resident Coordinator Paolo Lembo, who stressed the important role of the education system in raising awareness and promoting freedom from violence against women and girls. All participants stamped their orange fingerprints on the map of Yemenas a sign of unifying efforts to end violence against women and bring peace. At the end of the event, participants released balloons with messages promoting freedom from violence for women and girls.

Maiden Tower in Istanbul, Turkey was lit orange. Photo: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality
Maiden Tower in Istanbul, Turkey was lit orange. Photo: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the historic Maiden Tower was illuminated in orange to kick off 16 Days of Activism campaign in Istanbul. 27 buildings across the city, including those that belong to the private sector, simultaneously turned orange on 25 November to send a strong signal out to the world that violence against women needs to end. UN Women Europe and Central Asia Regional Office, in collaboration with Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, launched the campaign with a special lighting ceremony at the Maiden Tower where members of the media were also present. 27 buildings including the Galata Tower, the two Bosporus bridges and other symbolic and historic sites in the city will stay orange during 16 days. Read more »

Ada Bridge in Belgrade, Serbia will be lit orange for the entire 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Photo: Branko Starcevic
Ada Bridge in Belgrade, Serbia will be lit orange for the entire 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Photo: Branko Starcevic

The Serbian National Assembly, the Ada Bridge, the Government building, the National Theatre, the Victor Monument at the historic fortress and the Palace Albania building will stay orange for 16 days in support of the campaign and call for action to end violence against women. Explore more photos on Flickr.

Orthodox Cathedral in Tirana, Albania was lit in orange on 25 November supporting UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. Photo: UN Albania
Orthodox Cathedral in Tirana, Albania was lit in orange on 25 November supporting UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. Photo: UN Albania

In Tirana, for the first time, leaders of religious communities signed a joint declaration to act jointly against the global pandemic of violence against women. A concert at the main square of the city brought together representatives of the Albanian Government, international community and activists who raised their voice for a world free from violence and demanded action to prevent violence against women. Explore more photos on Flickr.

Firefighters in Quito, Ecuador, call for everyone to become part of the “Orange the world” effort to end violence against women by spelling out the word UNiTE (“Únete” in Spanish). Photo: UN Women/Martin Jamarillo
Firefighters in Quito, Ecuador, call for everyone to become part of the “Orange the world” effort to end violence against women by spelling out the word UNiTE (“Únete” in Spanish). Photo: UN Women/Martin Jamarillo

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, firefighters in Quito, Ecuador showed their support by collectively forming the Spanish word for the Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign(“Únete” in Spanish) while wearing orange. Additionally, the maximum authority of the Fire Department of Quito became a member of HeForShe and invited all firefighters and fire departments to promote gender equality and take a stand against violence. As part of the commitment, he will include UN Women’s online gender mainstreaming course as part of firefighters’ professional training. 

In Santiago, Chile, to mark the International Day to End Violence against Women La Moneda, was lit in orange on 25 November.
The Presidential Palace, La Moneda, in Santiago, Chile was lit in orange on 25 November to mark the International Day to End Violence against Women. Photo: UN Women

In Santiago, Chile, to mark the International Day to End Violence against Women, the Presidential Palace, La Moneda, and the National Public Library were lit in orange on 25 November. Earlier that day, President Michelle Bachelet participated in an activity in the municipality of San Joaquin to launch a national campaign directed at preventing femicide. In the evening, UN Women launched a documentary on street harassment--a civil society project supported by UN Women and the European Union--which was attended by over 150 people. A flashmob was also organized by UN Women and the European Union in the capital’s main Plaza de Armas square, with more than 60 representatives of women's organizations joining in. See the video.

In New Delhi, India, the iconic India Gate was lit orange during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Photo: UN Women
In New Delhi, India, the iconic India Gate was lit orange during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Photo: UN Women/Rineeta Naik

The iconic India Gate in New Delhi, India was lit up in orange to raise awareness and encourage action to stop violence against women. UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri gave a keynote address at the event to light the Gate, attended by filmmakers, representatives from the government, civil society, UN agencies and the students.

The Palais de l’Europe in Strousbourg, France was lit orange in a Council of Europe ceremony in response to the UNiTE campaigns call to orange the world. Photo: Council of Europe/Sandro Weltin
The Palais de l’Europe in Strousbourg, France was lit orange in a Council of Europe ceremony in response to the UNiTE campaigns call to orange the world. Photo: Council of Europe/Sandro Weltin

During a ceremony at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, the Palais de l’Europe, which serves as headquarters for the Council of Europe, was lit orange as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The ceremony was presided by the Council of Europe’s Secretary-General, Thorbjørn Jagland.

The headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa was lit up in orange as part of the “Orange the world” movement as part of the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. Photo: UN Women/Paula Mata
The headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa was lit up in orange as part of the “Orange the world” movement as part of the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. Photo: UN Women/Paula Mata

The United Nations in Ethiopia commemorated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence on 25 November 2015 by lighting up the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN ECA) in orange. The UN Resident Coordinator for Ethiopia Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie, and Representative of UNFPA in Ethiopia Faustin Yao, inaugurated the lighting ceremony for the building, which will stay lit until 10 December.

Singers perform during the kick-off of the 16 Days to Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Dakar, Senegal. Photo: UN Women
Singers perform during the kick-off of the 16 Days to Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Dakar, Senegal. Photo: UN Women

A day of events dedicated to ending violence against women in Dakar, Senegal culminated with the lighting of the Independence Monument, a historic site where demonstrations, parades and other mobilization events take place. Senegalese songstress Coumba Gawlo Seck performed a live concert following the lighting.

The Museum Mohamed VI of Modern and Contemporary Art shows support to the UNiTE campaign. Photo: UN Women/Kimja Vanderheyden
The Museum Mohamed VI of Modern and Contemporary Art in Morocco was lit orange. Photo: UN Women/Kimja Vanderheyden

In Morocco, the Museum Mohamed VI of Modern and Contemporary Art showed support for the UNiTE campaign by going orange during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

The UNESCO World Heritage archeological site of Petra, in Jordan, was lit in orange on 25 November. Photo: UN Women/Christopher Herwig
The UNESCO World Heritage archeological site of Petra, in Jordan, was lit in orange on 25 November. Photo: UN Women/Christopher Herwig

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November 2015, the UN Country Team in Jordan in collaboration with the Petra Archeological Park lit the UNESCO World Heritage archeological site of Petra in orange, responding to the call to action of the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, to ‘Orange the World: End Violence against Women and Girls’.

Cape Town, South Africa’s Table Mountain was lit orange on 25 November to raise awareness about violence against women. Photo: City of Cape Town/Bruce Sutherland
Cape Town, South Africa’s Table Mountain was lit orange on 25 November to raise awareness about violence against women. Photo: City of Cape Town/Bruce Sutherland

The iconic Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa was bathed in orange lights after sunset on 25 November in response to the call to “Orange the World” during this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The mountain will be lit again on 10 December to close the UNiTE campaign in South Africa.

In Oslo, Norway the statue of a skier stands out against the orange-lit backdrop of the Holmenkollen ski jump. Photo: Susanne A. Finnes
In Oslo, Norway the statue of a skier stands out against the orange-lit backdrop of the Holmenkollen ski jump. Photo: Susanne A. Finnes

On 25 November, Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, Norway, was lit orange to show support for the UNiTE Campaign and its global call to “Orange the World.” The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, during which landmarks around the world are lit orange.

Denmark’s Little Mermaid statue was lit in orange on the eve of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November 2015. Photo: UN Women/Anders M. Kjemtrup
Denmark’s Little Mermaid statue was lit in orange on the eve of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November 2015. Photo: UN Women/Anders M. Kjemtrup

In Copenhagen, Denmark, the famous Little Mermaid statue was illuminated in orange light to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. UN Women’s Nordic Office, in cooperation with Danish company Thornico A/S and Danish NGO Danner, held a lighting ceremony complete with “orange” hot chocolate served to participants. Thornico A/S engages in projects with social dimensions and wishes to put focus on ending violence against women, while Danner is managing a women’s shelter with counselling and housing for women and children that have experienced violence.

24 November

Fortress Travnik in Bosnia and Herzegovina turned orange as part of the call to end violence against women. Photo: UN Women Bosnia and Herzegovina
Fortress Travnik in Bosnia and Herzegovina turned orange as part of the call to end violence against women. Photo: UN Women Bosnia and Herzegovina

The historic fortress in Travnik went orange as Bosnia and Herzegovina joined Secretary General's call to `orange the world` this year. Landmark buildings across the country have been lit in orange to draw attention to the issue of violence against women and stimulate action. UN Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina will also organize workshops with university students in 5 cities on the issue of violence against women and girls, stressing out the importance of informal education and outlining the work of service providers in the country.

Niagara Falls, both American and Canadian Horseshoe falls, bathed in orange light on 24 November 2015. Photo: UN Women/James Neiss
Niagara Falls, both American and Canadian Horseshoe falls, bathed in orange light on 24 November 2015. Photo: UN Women/James Neiss

One of the Wonders of the World, the majestic Niagara Falls were bathed in orange light on 24 November, both on the American and Canadian side of the "Horseshoe Falls", as part of this year's "Orange the world" call for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

The Berlaymont building in Brussels, Belgium was lit in orange in support of the ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence’ campaign. Photo: European Commission, 2015
The Berlaymont building in Brussels, Belgium was lit in orange in support of the ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence’ campaign. Photo: European Commission, 2015

Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, on the eve of 24 November, the Berlaymont building in Brussels, Belgium, which serves as headquarters of the European Commission, was lit up in orange to symbolize the European Commission’s continued focus on ending violence against women.

The Grand Palace City Hall in Brussels was lit orange on 24 November 2015, on the eve of the International Day to End Violence against Women. Photo: UNRIC/Michael Durickas.
The Grand Palace City Hall in Brussels was lit orange on 24 November 2015, on the eve of the International Day to End Violence against Women. Photo: UNRIC/Michael Durickas.

Brussels also became the first city in Belgium to join UN Women’s Global Flagship Initiative “Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces” which aims to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls in public spaces. The announcement came in the lead-up to the 16 Days of Activism. Brussels also lit its City Hall in orange the evening before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Read more »

The National Monument of Pakistan was lit in orange on the eve of 25 November 2015, to raise awareness around preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls. Photo: UN Women/Atif Mansoor Khan
The National Monument of Pakistan was lit in orange on the eve of 25 November 2015, to raise awareness around preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls. Photo: UN Women/Atif Mansoor Khan

The National Monument of Pakistan, located in the capital city of Islamabad, was lit in orange on the eve of 25 November 2015, to raise awareness and mobilize action to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls. It will be bathed in orange for the duration of the 16 Days of Activism. This iconic monument represents the country's four provinces and three territories. Its flower-and-petals shape symbolizes the country’s women, men, girls and boys, and its commitment to progress, peace and development for all. The Government’s Capital Development Authority, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Philips Pakistan Limited provided support for the lighting.

19 November

Brazil's Presidential Palace, O Palácio do Planalto, was lit in orange on 19 November, on the final day of the Executive Director's visit to the country, and ahead of the 16 days of activism.  Photo: Roberto Stuckert Filho/PR
Brazil's Presidential Palace, O Palácio do Planalto, was lit in orange on 19 November. Photo: Roberto Stuckert Filho/PR

On the final day of UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka's visit to Brazil, and ahead of the 16 days of activism, Brazil's Presidential Palace, O Palácio do Planalto, was lit in orange. Read more »

18 November

Women dressed in orange take part in the March of Black Women against Violence and Discrimination in Brazil. Photo: Photo: UNDP/Tiago Zenero
Women dressed in orange take part in the March of Black Women against Violence and Discrimination in Brazil. Photo: UNDP/Tiago Zenero

Women came together in Brasilia, Brazil on 18 November to participate in the Black Women’s March against Racism and Violence. Some participants wore orange to show their support for initiatives to end violence against women in Brazil. UN Women's Executive Director spoke at the event, and encouraged Brazilian women to lead the way in ending violence against women and racism. Read more »

15 November

Ahead of the International Day to End Violence against Women and the 16 Days of Activism the theme of the 2015 International Istanbul Marathon was ending violence against women.
Ahead of the International Day to End Violence against Women and the 16 Days of Activism the theme of the 2015 International Istanbul Marathon was ending violence against women. Photo: UN Women/Müslüm Bayburs

The theme for this year’s International Istanbul Marathon was ending violence against women. More than 100,000 people participated in the marathon, including 30,000 runners from around the world. The slogan “Say No to Violence Against Women” was everywhere and the overall colour theme of the marathon was orange.

25 October

Over 50 tuk-tuks taking part in the Orange Day parade in Phnom Penh. Photo: Mariken B. Harbitz/UN Women Cambodia
Over 50 tuk-tuks taking part in the Orange Day parade in Phnom Penh. Photo: Mariken B. Harbitz/UN Women Cambodia

On 25 October in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, over 50 tuk-tuk drivers dressed in orange participated in a parade in the city to raise awareness and promote ending violence against women and girls in their community. The UNiTE campaign and People Health and Development had previously held trainings with drivers on ending violence against women, and encouraged the drivers to spread the messages to their clients.

24 October

The Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, was lit in orange on 24 October 2015. Photo: Audiovisuele Media/Sjaak de Groot
The Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, was lit in orange on 24 October 2015. Photo: Audiovisuele Media/Sjaak de Groot

On 24 October 2015, the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, went orange to show support for Orange Day (25 October). The October Orange Day theme sought to raise awareness of the need for access to essential services for survivors of violence against women and girls. On this issue, The Hague will host the 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters from 3-6 November 2015. The Peace Palace was illuminated blue for the 70-year anniversary of the United Nations, but transitioned to bright orange that evening, ahead of 25 October. Watch the lights go from blue to orange in this video.

19 October

Musicians pack a powerful performance in Carnegie Hall, against the orange-lit backdrop of the concert hall stage. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Musicians pack a powerful performance in Carnegie Hall, against the orange-lit backdrop of the concert hall stage. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Set against the backdrop of an ornate stage at Carnegie Hall, lit in an orange hue, 90 principal musicians from 40 of the world’s great orchestras, ensembles and academies donated their artistry to end violence against women. The 19 October performance marked the grand finale of a musical concert project that brings together global leaders in the artistic, musical and diplomatic communities to raise funds and public awareness of violence against women and girls. The initiative, created through a partnership between Music for Life International and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, uses the power of classical music to connect audiences around the world to the innovative and effective strategies pioneered by UN Trust Fund grantees to eliminate violence against women and girls.