International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence
Orange the World in 16 Days
This year, UN Women and partners around the world marked the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (25 November – 10 December) under the theme of ‘Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence against Women and Girls’. A host of public events galvanized global attention and action to end the pandemic of violence against women. From marches in Uganda, Papua New Guinea, and Uruguay to a public rally on motorbikes in Egypt, people took to the streets to say no to violence, and iconic buildings lit up in orange.
Date: 25 November 2016
On 10 December, the last day of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Bab El Bahr monument in Tunisia's capital, Tunis, was lit in orange.
As part of the 'Orange the World' initiative, iconic Mumbai monuments such as the Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Western Railway building, and the University of Mumbai were illuminated in orange to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The Gateway of India lighting was attended by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
In Solomon Islands, UN Women partnered with a local sports association, the Honiara Netball Association to host an event promoting an end to violence against women and girls. The event was attended by the President of the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands, Vice President of the Solomon Islands Paralympic Committee, other sporting icons such as Solomon Islands male gold medalist long distance runner, current and former national netball players and other netballers. A local drama group also performed.
In Papua New Guinea a vibrant event celebrated the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and the "Orange the World" initiative. As part of UN Women's “Safe Public Transport for Women and Children Programme” at Gerehu Market a new women's only bus, called "Meri Seif Bus" was launched. UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka attended the event along with Mr. Powes Parkop, Governor of National Capital District Commission (NCDC); the Australian High Commissioner; the New Zealand Deputy High Commissioner; representatives from the European Union and other government officials, civil society, youth and market vendors.
In Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, The Network of Rural Women Producers of Trinidad and Tobago, UN Women MCO Caribbean, ParlAmericas and the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago observed the 16 Dayd of Activism against Gender-Based Violence with a consultation on addressing Gender Based Violence in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. The event also featured the launch of a web portal developed by UN Women and ParlAmericas which includes tool kits to support parliamentary work in the Caribbean on gender equality.
In Lao People's Democratic Republic, UN Women participated in a panel discussion with students at the National University of Laos on the importance of ending violence against women on 30 November.
During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, The Africa Convention of Women in Security Organs provided an opportunity to network, connect women and men in security organs and share experience and lessons related to fighting and ending violence against women and girls across the globe. Discussions allowed the audience to interact with the different and knowledgeable panelists and ask questions. A walk to end gender-based violence was also held, which had all the members of the convention walk the streets of Kigali to show their support.
Uganda's Parliament Building will be illuminated in orange until the end of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence on 10 December to show Parliament's commitment to ending violence against women and girls. On 29 November, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga switched on the orange lights during an event attended by members of parliament, gender equality activists and development partners.
Cameroon commemorated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The event, which was attended by government and the United Nations Representatives in Cameroon highlighted the urgent need to scale up financing in efforts to end violence against women in Cameroon. Beside the official launch, the message to end violence against women was integrated in the ongoing Female African Nations cup.
In partnership with a national non-governmental organization, UN Women in the Central African Republic organized a workshop on leadership and ending violence against women at Hotel Oubangui in Bangui. Fifty young women from different schools and universities took part in the 3-day-workshop and learned why leadership matters for their personal development and for the efforts to end violence against women, which is a scourge in their country. After the workshop, the young women raised awareness about violence against women in their schools and universities.
In Battambang Province, Cambodia women and men attended a march and concert to show support for ending violence against women and girls during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
On 27 November, UN Women in Viet Nam in partnership with SunRise, AIESEC and Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, with support of UNICEF and Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee organised a Safe and Friendly City Bus Journey followed by a youth dialogue in Ho Chi Minh City. The purpose of the bus journey and the youth dialogue was to raise awareness about sexual harassment and sexual violence against women and girls in public spaces and ensure engagement and participation of youth in city planning, as part of ongoing initiative to create a Safe City Programme free of sexual harassment and violence against women and girls in public spaces.
Syrian refugee girls in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan participated in a bike rally organized by UN Women and humanitarian partners on 27 November to raise awareness on women and girls’ freedom of movement and safety during the UNiTE Campaign's 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
In Bamako, Mali the Peace Monument was illuminated in orange every night during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence from 25 November, to 10 December.
In Italy, 17 different cities, including Rome, Venice, Florence, Pisa and Naples illuminated iconic monuments in orange. In Venice, the Palace Ca’ Farsetti and Ca’ Loredan, home of the city’s municipal council, were lit up in orange as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and the UNiTE Campaign's call to 'Orange the World'.
In honor of the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign's call to 'Orange the World', Nepal lit up the Patan Durbar Square, including Patan Durbar Square Museum and Telaju Temple, on 25 November.
In Nepal, a video created through a joint UN effort was aired on a television station with national reach to raise awareness on gender-based violence.
For the second consecutive year, the Panama Canal has joined the 16 Days of Activism by lighting its iconic Administration Building, a landmark of the Panamanian capital, in orange. The lighting of the building took place on 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The Administration Building was officially inaugurated in 1914, only a month before the Panama Canal became operational. It is located atop a hill overlooking the Canal itself and most parts of Panama City.
UN Women in Egypt kicked off the 16 days on 25 November, with a motorcycle ride led by women riders called “A Safe Journey” under the UNiTE Campaign. The ride highlighted safe public transit for women and girls and promoted their right to freedom of movement in cities and existing mobility barriers. Nearlyo 80 riders wearing orange and carrying the UNiTE flag traveled throughout the streets of Cairo.
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the historic Maiden Tower in Istanbul, Turkey was illuminated in orange to kick off 16 Days of Activism campaign. Thirty 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. The Galata Tower, the three Bosporus bridges and other symbolic and historic sites in the city will stay orange during 16 days.
One of the most emblematic monuments in Mexico City, the Angel of Independence turned orange on 25 November as part of the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign's call to 'Orange the World' and end violence against women and girls.
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the European Union Office in Palestine and UN Women together with Palestinian counterparts lit up the Nativity Church in Bethlehem and Al Manara Square in Ramallah as a message of a better future without violence against women and girls.
On 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 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.
In Dakar, Senegal, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence launched at the Renaissance Monument, which embodies the vision of a united Africa.
Carondelet Palace, the seat of government of the Republic of Ecuador and one of the most visited places in the Historic Center of Quito, was lit in orange to show The Presidency of Ecuador's commitment to the UNiTE Campaign and support for the elimination of gender-based violence
Across Indonesia, many monuments and buildings were lit in orange light to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, including Monas in Jakarta, Gedung Sate in Bandung, Borobudur in Magelang and Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue in Bali.
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, the UN Country Team in Jordan, in partnership with the Jordanian National Commission for Women, lit the archaeological site of Jerash in orange. Held under the patronage and at the presence of the Mayor of Jerash, Ali Qoqazeh, the event officially kicked off the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign in the Kingdom of Jordan. Local authorities, members of civil society and youth volunteers lit orange candles around the Hadrian's Arch at the entrance of the archaeological site, advocating to end violence against women and girls.
On 25 November in Colombia, emblematic buildings such as Colpatria Tower, Congress of the Republic, Palace of Nariño (Presidential House) and The Palace of Justice, were illuminated in orange to kick off the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.
On 25 November 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius shined in orange to support the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign's 'Orange the World' initiative to end gender-based violence.
On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Tirana, Albania, the awareness campaign “I choose to live without violence” kicked off. The campaign is a national call to prevent and report gender based and domestic violence, and introduces the solutions and the dedicated services for women victims of violence. The campaign launched by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, UN Women, UNDP and UNFPA in Albania will be extended beyond the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, until March 2017. The campaign will be extended in various urban and rural areas according to a planned calendar of activities aiming to involve local communities, civil society and state institutions for a society free of violence. Tirana and other communities celebrated the day with featuring public discussions, fund raising, performances and art installations to engage young boys and girls.
New York City Hall was illuminated in orange light to commemorate International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and kick off the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Gracie Mansion, the official residence of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was also lit in orange.
For the first time ever, the Minar-e-Pakistan, a public monument in Lahore, Punjab province was lit in orange lights to mark 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and reaffirm the commitment of the Provincial Women Development Department (WDD) to end gender-based violence. Minster for Women Development Department Punjab, Hameeda Waheed-ud-Din said that the Punjab government stands committed to put an end to violence and discriminatory attitude towards women. WDD has also launched the “Her Talk 2016 Campaign" to promote rights of women and their importance in the process of national development and prosperity. ‘Orange the World’ activities in Punjab will include a series of the events, including competitions, walks and screening of an Oscar winning documentary on honor killing.
Hundreds of people gathered at Cathédrale Saint-Paul du Plateau in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire for a march against gender-based violence on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The Prime Minister, the Minister for Women’s Empowerment and other members of government, as well as this year’s Taekwondo Olympic gold medalist, who is Cote d’Ivoire’s national ambassador for the campaign, teachers, students, artists, civil society, media and army representatives joined the march.
Boston's landmark Zakim Bridge was lit in orange to raise awareness about the 16 Days of Activism and ending violence against women in the United States of America.
To mark the 17th International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and in support of the Orange the World initiative, the Government of Hangzhou, the capital of China’s Zhejiang province, in cooperation with UN Women, oranged the Xi Hu Lake, temples and grounds.
Tbilisi TV Tower, which overlooks Georgia's capital was illuminated in orange light as part of the Secretary-General's UNiTE Campaign to End Violence against Women. The lighting took place on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which kicks off the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
UN Women Japan Liaison Office jointly organized the Orange the World event with the Bunkyo Ward to raise awareness of the International Day For the Elimination of Violence against Women. More than 50 people from Bunkyo Ward, ward councilors, the local police and women's organizations cooperated to distribute orange goods to show the interventions undertaken to have long-lasting and permanent progress towards ending violence against women. Simultaneously, a police counselling booth on gender-based violence and screening of ending violence against women related short videos were carried out.
The first lady of Cabo Verde, Ligia Fonseca, took part in the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence by visiting secondary schools to speak about the importance of ending violence against women and girls.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Headquarters, a major landmark in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was lit in orange for the 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, Canada, which served as the main stadium of the 2010 Winter Olympics and is home of the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League, Vancouver Whitecaps FC of Major League Soccer, was lit in orange on 25 November in recognition of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
Orange lights illuminated the European Central Bank in Frankfurt Germany on 25 November to raise awareness of gender-based violence on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which kicks of the UNiTE Campaign's 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.
In Kazakhstan the Unlabel Women photo exhibition was held in Tengri Umay Gallery in Almaty from 25 November to 10 December. Each of the 16 stories of women opened with a label or stereotype and concluded with that stereotype being destroyed. The exhibition featured stories of women survivors who have experienced violence, including a survivor of bride kidnapping, an ex-prisoner, a woman living with HIV, a refugee and a survivor of domestic violence.
In partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, UN Women launched the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Boane, Mozambique where the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Cidalia Chauque and UN Women Representative, Florence Raes, opened the ceremony with inspiring calls to end gender based violence.
Ahead of 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the European Parliament building in Brussels, Belgium was lit in Orange in support of the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE Campaign to End Violence against Women.
On the evening of 24 November, UN Women Executive Director Mlambo-Ngcuka launched the 16 Days of Activism Campaign with the orange lighting of Liberia’s Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection building in Monrovia. The Executive Director also participated in a high-level panel on the empowerment and leadership of women and girls, alongside Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Read more»
On 24 November the EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam was bathed in orange light to raise awareness of violence against women and girls as part of the UNiTE Campaign's 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia lit up orange to mark the 16 Days of Activism. Also in Australia, the Darling Harbour Precinct will stay lit in orange until 10 December. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is a Platinum Partner of UN Women National Committee Australia and actively promotes gender equality across their business, and with their customers.
The official opening event of the 16 Days of Activism in Afghanistan was held at the Presidential Palace. Both the President and Chief Executive of Afghanistan spoke about the unacceptability of violence against women, reiterating the government's commitment to ending it and calling on all citizens to take action. The president in particular said he was proud to wear the orange scarf. Perhaps the most powerful speaker on the day was a survivor of violence who had been living in a shelter for six years after abuse from her husband, receiving legal support, healthcare and vocational training. She is now training other women so they can also work and earn money. She called on the government to fund shelters in the 10 provinces that do not yet have them.
On 19 November in front of 27,000 fans at Mikheil Meskhi stadium, the national rugby teams of Georgia and Samoa expressed their support for the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign. The Samoan rugby team has followed the Georgian national team’s example in actively joining the cause by expressing their support to the UNiTE campaign. Georgian rugby players have a long-standing partnership with UN Women in the framework of the UN Joint programme for gender equality, funded by the Government of Sweden and implemented by UNDP, UN Women and UNFPA.
Eight students from Keerapat International School (KPIS) and Asian Institution of Technology (AIT) collaborated with UN Women, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in the writing of the campaign song for the United Nation Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. The students shose to make the song, titled Be the Light: UNiTE, uplifting and enthusiastic in the hopes that it will inspire other young people to be the light and to take a stand in ending violence against women. UN Women also invites others to make their own music video for the UNiTE Campaign Song 2016