International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence

Orange the World, Leave No One Behind

Date: Wednesday, November 22, 2017

This year, UN Women and partners around the world are marking the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (25 November – 10 December) under the theme of “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls”. A host of public events—from marches, exhibits and concerts to sporting events—are being organized under the banner of the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women by 2030, using the signature colour orange. As in previous years, iconic buildings and monuments will be ‘oranged’ to call for a violence-free future, including the parliaments in Bangladesh, Liberia, and Morocco, Rio’s iconic Corcovado, the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, Mexico, La Scala theatre in Milan, the City Hall in Bogota, the National Theatre of Algiers, and Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

Orange the World 2017

10 December

The closing event of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign in Gaza, Palestine, took place on 10 December in Gaza, was held under the theme of 'Leave No One Behind: End Violence Against Women in Gaza’ and gathered more than 130 participants from UN agencies, INGOs and civil society organizations working on ending violence against women and girls in the midst of on-going humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The event also included the launch an assessment of gender-based violence services in Gaza. The research looks at the achievements, continuing obstacles and gaps among the community of gender-based violence service providers in Gaza. The study finds answers to the gaps and needs of existing services from the point of view of service providers as well as of GBV survivors.

7 December

Heads of agencies of the UN Country Team in Sierra Leone. Photo: UN Women/Cecil Nelson
Heads of agencies of the UN Country Team in Sierra Leone. Photo: UN Women/Cecil Nelson

With the theme Leave no one behind, 20 heads of Agencies and Representatives of the United Nations Country Team in Sierra Leone pledged to join the fight to end violence against women and girls not only for the 16 days of activism, but pressing forwards planet 50-50 by 2030. The heads of agencies and Representatives wore orange scarfs and T-shirts to demonstrate their commitment to stop and end violence against women. The room was filled with HeForShe ambassadors who through their various agencies can help make a change for women and girls. Their commitment and support will galvanize efforts to help create rising awareness and an urgent sense of responsibility to end violence against women and girls.

1 December

Managers from the private sector and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries at a Dec 1 UN Women-CZI-World Bank (WB) seminar to outline strategies and actions to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the private sector in Zimbabwe.  Photo: UN Women
Managers from the private sector and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries at a Dec 1 UN Women-CZI-World Bank (WB) seminar to outline strategies and actions to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the private sector in Zimbabwe. Photo: UN Women

In Zimbabwe, to mark the 16 Days of Activism, women and men representatives from the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, women executives in companies and banks and development partners, representatives from UN Women and the World Bank came together for a brainstorming seminar to outline actions and strategies to advance gender equality and women's empowerment in the private sector on 1 December. "We go out of our way for CZI not to be a 'boys' club or a 'selective club',” said the Chief Executive Officer of CZI, C.M. Sileya. CZI is the umbrella organization for some 300 private sector companies in Zimbabwe. The Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank, J. Chipika, congratulated CZI and UN Women on the 2017 Annual Manufacturing Sector Survey which for the first time, included a gender analysis of the sector. The seminar provided CZI with several actions for 2018 to inform the work of its newly established women's desk to advance gender equality and women's empowerment in the private sector. These actions would include, among others, the adoption and training of its members on the UN Women and UN Global Compact Women's Empowerment Principles, development of gender-responsive policy frameworks both within CZI and in individual companies, development of strategies for the inclusion of women as suppliers and other players in the CZI identified value chains to drive industrialization and training and mentorship programmes for women CEOs and managers.

UN Women Representative M. Alison McLean (at right) and UN Women MCO staff viewing one of the artworks at the 1 in 3 Art Exhibition held at the UN Women Multi Country Office (MCO) in Christchurch, Barbados. Photo: UN Women/Sharon Carter-Burke
UN Women Representative M. Alison McLean (at right) and UN Women MCO staff viewing one of the artworks at the 1 in 3 Art Exhibition held at the UN Women Multi Country Office (MCO) in Christchurch, Barbados. Photo: UN Women/Sharon Carter-Burke

On 28 November at the UN house in Bridgetown, Barbados, UN Women showcased their work with Eastern Caribbean partners and community-led advocacy in the documentary “Step it Up – End Gender-Based Violence in the Caribbean”. In attendance were members of the Donor Community from UKAID, the High Commission of Canada, the Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the OECS, Government of Barbados partners and civil society. Days later, with a title that reflects the global and Caribbean status of violence against women and girls, the “1 in 3” Art exhibition has travelled through three continents and seven countries to raise awareness to the global epidemic. Hosted by the World Bank, UN Women and Interarts with the support of the European Union, the 1 in 3 Exhibition addresses the cultural and social dimensions of domestic violence at the UN House from Dec 1 – 17.

30 November

UN Women in Algeria has joined in to orange the world and organized a balloon release on November 30th for the 16 days of activism to end violence against women, with the presence of the Minister for Solidarity Ghania Eddalia (pictured center, with hand sign).  Photo: UN Women
Photo: UN Women

On 30 November, UN Women in Algeria answered the UNiTE campaign’s call to Orange the World by releasing orange balloons and organizing a Conference Panel in partnership with the Algerian Ministry of Women’s Affairs. The two panels on ending violence against women were attended by Algerian Minister for Solidarity Ghania Eddalia, the UN Resident Coordinator in Algeria Eric Overvest, the UN Country Team, key national stakeholders, civil society members as well as representatives from the inter-ministerial Commission to monitor the national strategy on violence.

Additionally, through a partnership with a regional telecommunications company, awareness-raising messages were sent to 16 million people in Algeria during the sixteen days of the campaign.

26 November

A football match between Independiuente and Emelec of Guayaquil at the Rodrigo Paz stadium. Photo: UN Women/Martín Jaramillo Serrano
A football match between Independiuente and Emelec of Guayaquil at the Rodrigo Paz stadium. Photo: UN Women/Martín Jaramillo Serrano

In Ecuador, in addition to buildings and monuments being lit in orange, including the National Presidency, the UN House, etc., on 26 November, a football match between Independiuente and Emelec of Guayaquil at the Rodrigo Paz stadium took place, with players wearing orange UNiTE shirts to show solidarity with the Orange the World celebrations and the 16 Days campaign.

25 November

President of France, Emmanuel Macron; Marlene Schiappa, Secretary of State for Equality Between Women and Men; and Miren Bengoa, UN Women French National Committee President. Photo: UN Women
President of France, Emmanuel Macron; Marlene Schiappa, Secretary of State for Equality Between Women and Men; and Miren Bengoa, UN Women French National Committee President. Photo: UN Women

President of France, Emmanuel Macron wore an orange scarf in solidarity with the UNiTE campaign during the 16 Days of Activism. President Macron met with UN Women French National Committee President, Miren Bengoa at the Elysée Palace, who presented the orange scarf to him. The President wore it on 25 November, as he announced his plans to improve public awareness and response to violence against women and girls in France.

In Brussels, Belgium, the Berlaymont building, headquarters of the European Commission, is illuminated in orange. Photo: European Commission/Lukasz Kobus
In Brussels, Belgium, the Berlaymont building, headquarters of the European Commission, is illuminated in orange. Photo: European Commission/Lukasz Kobus

On 24 and 25 November, the European Institutions joined the 16 Days of Activism campaign and oranged several key buildings around Brussels. The European Commission (Berlaymont Building) as well as the Parliament (Station Europe), the headquarter of the External Action Service were lit up in orange both evenings to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, as well as the beginning of the 16 Days and UNiTE Campaign’s call for action to Orange the World. The City of Brussels also joined by oranging its famous landmark, the Hotel de Ville of the Grand-place.

Daud Joseph (left), Chief Operation Officer of PT Transportasi Jakarta welcomes participants on the Safe Bus Journey in Transjakarta and Sabine Machl (right), UN Women Representative in Indonesia explains about the Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces project in Indonesia. Photo: UN Women/Aryanadi Cahyono
Daud Joseph (left), Chief Operation Officer of PT Transportasi Jakarta welcomes participants on the Safe Bus Journey in Transjakarta and Sabine Machl (right), UN Women Representative in Indonesia explains about the Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces project in Indonesia. Photo: UN Women/Aryanadi Cahyono

In Indonesia, to mark the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, UN Women together with Transjakarta, Kalyanamitra dan Institute of Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) organized a “Safe Bus Journey” to promote women’s and girls’ access to public transportation free from violence. “There are several cases of harassment in public transportation in Jakarta. However, many women who faced harassment does not report. I urged women who experienced harassment to report and those who saw the it to take action, stop and prevent.” Daud Joseph, Chief Opearation Officer Transjakarta. Also on the 25 November, UN Women Indonesia and The Embassy of France a screening of the film "Women and Men" and an ensuing discussion about ending violence against women as well as challenges to achieving gender equality at Institut Francais D’indonesie.

Concert by Women Youth Orchestra and Chorus Alaide Foppa  Credits: UN Women/ Marina Windevoxhel.
Photo: UN Women/ Marina Windevoxhel.

In Guatemala, several landmark buildings, including the Municipal Palace and the Public Prosecutor’s Office, were lit in orange in solidarity with the UN Women-led advocacy efforts during the 16 Days of Activism. Commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Office of the Public Prosecutor hosted a concert by women and youth orchestra on 25 November. Other events included the unveiling of murals as part of the Guatemala City Safe City and Safe Public Spaces Programme, as well as a workshop on access to justice for indigenous women.

Photo credit: UN Women/Doris Puiahi
Photo credit: UN Women/Doris Puiahi

Women across the Solomon Islands are raising their voices against gender-based violence during the 16 Days of Activism. UN Women is supporting the Ministry of Women, Youths, Children and Family Affairs' nationwide live radio broadcast on via the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation for the launch of 16 Days of Activism.  

Samoa’s annual Fun Run to End Violence Against Women and Girls embraced UN Women’s commitment to ‘leave no one behind’. Photo credit: UN Women/Papali’i Mele Maualaivao
Samoa’s annual Fun Run to End Violence Against Women and Girls embraced UN Women’s commitment to ‘leave no one behind’. Photo credit: UN Women/Papali’i Mele Maualaivao

In Samoa, on 25 November, the Samoa Rugby Union, with support from Bluesky, Oceania Rugby and UN Women, organized a Rugby Sevens Tournament to mark the 16 Days of Activism. “We must all work together to end violence against women and girls,” said UN Women Country Programme Coordinator Papali’i Mele Maualaivao, “because everyone has the right to live their life without the threat of violence. The Sevens Tournament is a perfect platform to speak out against violence against women and girls, given rugby’s popularity in Samoa and across the Pacific region.” Samoa’s annual Fun Run to End Violence Against Women and Girls also embraced UN Women’s commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ in its efforts to eliminate violence. All ages, fitness, and mobility levels participated in the run, with the opportunity to walk, run, and wheel the course around Lalomanu. Samoa’s Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, UN Women, the Australian Government, and Samoa’s Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee (SASNOC) partnered for the event that also welcomed the Queen’s Baton Relay in the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

UN Women is supporting the Vanuatu Government and its partners to spread the message to end violence against women and girls, joining a coalition to “Stanap strong akensem vaelens” (stand up against violence). Photo credit: UN Women/Trisha Toangwera and Betty Zinner-Toa
UN Women is supporting the Vanuatu Government and its partners to spread the message to end violence against women and girls, joining a coalition to “Stanap strong akensem vaelens” (stand up against violence). Photo credit: UN Women/Trisha Toangwera and Betty Zinner-Toa

In Vanuatu, ending violence against women and girls was centre court at the Shefna/Port Vila Challenge Netball Tournament. The annual event, that brings together the top four teams from the Shefa Netball Association and Port Vila Netball Association, highlighted the 16 Days of Activism campaign. UN Women was proud to work together with partners supporting the event, including Merilyn Tahi from Vanuatu Women’s Centre. “Violence against women is gender inequality at its most extreme and through sport, we can equal the playing field between women and men, and girls and boys,” said UN Women Country Programme Coordinator Betty Zinner-Toa. UN Women is also supporting the Vanuatu Government and its partners to spread the message to end violence against women and girls, joining a coalition of Vanuatu’s NGOs and INGOs, the Australian High Commission and New Zealand Defence Force, to launch the 16 Days of Activism campagin to “Stanap strong akensem vaelens” (stand up against violence) on 25 November.

Young people participate in Fiji’s Basketball tournament. Photo Credit: UN Women/Caitlin Clifford
Young people participate in Fiji’s Basketball tournament. Photo Credit: UN Women/Caitlin Clifford

In Fiji, on the eve of 16 Days of Activism, UN Women Pacific shared insights with the European Union in the Pacific and EU Heads of Mission about Pacific-specific strategies to end violence against women and girls, reinforcing a mutual commitment to work together to stop violence in its diverse forms. Complementing the efforts to end violence against women and girls through sport in Samoa and Vanuatu, UN Women joined the Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation at Basketball Fiji’s Open Age 3X3 Tournament on 25 November to share insights about the critical need to end violence against women and girls.

UN Women collaborated with local police in Japan, who distributed information flyers and other materials, together with their mascot, “Pipo¬kun”. Credit: Bunkyo City, Japan
UN Women collaborated with local police in Japan, who distributed information flyers and other materials, together with their mascot, “Pipo¬kun”. Credit: Bunkyo City, Japan

In Japan, from 25 November to 10 December, the City Hall of Bunkyo-city is lit up in orange to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the 16 Days of Activism.  Local universities, women's organizations and police in Bunkyo-City joined the Orange the World campaign to raise awareness. HeForShe IMPACT University, Nagoya University, convened young activists to address the issue of gender-based violence on campus and held inaugural Global Ideathons. UN Women also collaborated with local police in Japan, who distributed information flyers and other materials, together with their mascot, “Pipo­kun”. 

Traditional dancers and musicians perform, calling on audience members to speak out when they see any form of violence, harassment or discrimination against women and girls. Photo: UN Women/Deepika Nath
Traditional dancers and musicians perform, calling on audience members to speak out when they see any form of violence, harassment or discrimination against women and girls. Photo: UN Women/Deepika Nath

Some 1,500 people took over the streets of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Saturday 25 November at the national launch of the 16 Days campaign, calling on everyone to open up, speak out and take action to end violence against women and girls. In Kigoma, Tanzania, a march to end violence against women and girls launched the campaign, followed by various performances by dancers, actors and musicians. Advocacy efforts continued on, as over 500 participants, consisting of government officials, local leaders, traditional leaders, students, children, villagers and community members, joined the Orange Your World celebrations in Kibondo on 27 November and in Kakonko on 28 November.

UN Women representatives, along with Luiza Carvallo, UN Women Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean,  joined a march to end violence against women.
Photo: UN Women/Sahand Minae

In Uruguay, UN Women representatives, along with Luiza Carvallo, UN Women Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, joined a march to end violence against women. Two simultaneous marches along the "avenida 18 de Julio", organized by a Civil Society Collective, Mujeres de Negro, and Feminist Women from the EFLAC (Encuentro Feminista Latinoamericano y del Caribe), brought together more than six thousand people. The marches ended at the City Town Hall where Minou Tavárez Mirabal read a proclamation. In addition to advocacy and awareness raising, UN Women partnered with the government, civil society and two local soccer organizations to organize a violence prevention workshop with young female football players in Colonia Valdense.

The historic building of Dar Al Saraya in Madaba, Jordan, lit in orange. Photo credits: JNCW/BeamEvents
The historic building of Dar Al Saraya in Madaba, Jordan, lit in orange. Photo credits: JNCW/BeamEvents

In Jordan, the historic building of Dar Al Saraya in Madaba was lit in orange on the evening of 25 November. For the first time this year, the building of the Delegation of the European Union to Jordan was also lit up in orange to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and for the third consecutive year, the landmark building of The Royal Hotel in Amman turned orange. Leading up to the 16 Days, the UN Country Team in Jordan, led by UN Women and in collaboration with the UN Communication Group, the Jordanian National Commission for Women and a host of other partners, organized a youth creativity lab. Almost 30 Jordanian youth participated in developing creative social media content on ending violence against women and girls. They also contributed video testimonials on the issue of child marriage, in the context of Jordan’s national campaign themed ‘Too young to be married’.

The National Assembly of Ecuador lit in orange. Photo: ONUMujeres/Martin Jaramillo S.
Photo: ONU Mujeres/Martin Jaramillo S.

In Quito, Ecuador, the National Assembly was lit in orange and prepared for the second debate on the national law to prevent and end violence against women.

Members of Government, Civil Society, and Students march together in Kigali city to mark the 16 Days of Activism  Photo: UN Women/Tumaini Ochieng
Photo: UN Women/Tumaini Ochieng

In Rwanda, the launch of the 16 Days of Activism convened over 2,500 participants consisiting of government, civil society representatives, UN agencies and the general public, who participated in a walk across the city of Kigali to raise awareness on the urgency and importance of ending violence against women and girls. The 3 Km walk started from the National Parliament building and ended at the National Amahoro Stadium, followed by the screening of a video showing the different interventions that Rwanda has implemented to end violence against women. On the evening of 25 November, in support of the 16 Days of Activism and to raise awareness, UN Women secured the support of the Kigali Convention Centre to light the building in orange. Located in the heart of city, the Centre is one of Rwanda`s popular attractions.

The Angel of Independence in Mexico City was lit in orange. Photo: UN Women/Alfredo Guerrero
The Angel of Independence in Mexico City was lit in orange. Photo: UN Women/Alfredo Guerrero

In Mexico, several buildings and iconic monuments were lit in orange to raise awareness and mark 25 November, the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women, including the Angel of Independence, the Diana the Huntress’ Fountain, the Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico’s Senate of the Republic, the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs , Mexico's monument to the Revolution, as well as some iconic buildings in Puebla and Torreón. On 27 November, in partnership with Norwegian artist Lisa Bjorne and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Women launched a week-long exposition on feminicide in Mexico and around the world. Leading up to the 16 Days, a number of activities were led by UN Women, including a media workshop, where representatives of some of the biggest media participated in a conversation with specialists from the government, social organizations and the academia, on topics such as feminicide, political violence and sexual violence. In collaboration with Ambulante Distribution and filmmaker Lucía Gajá, UN Women also co-hosted the premiere of the film "Batallas Íntimas" (Intimate Battles), which tells the stories of five women from around the world (Spain, USA, Finland, India and Mexico) who suffered violence perpetrated by their partners.

In Timor Leste civil society organizations and community members, with support from UN Women, organized Timor-Leste’s 2017 Safety Audit on 25 November, as part of the annual 16 Days of Activism Campaign
UN Women/Tanushree Rao

In Timor-Leste, civil society organizations and community members, with support from UN Women, organized Timor-Leste’s 2017 Safety Audit on 25 November, as part of the annual 16 Days of Activism Campaign. The audit assessed the safety of public spaces from the perspective of those who experience or feel the threat of insecurity in their communities, especially women and girls who are often targeted for sexual harassment and other forms of violence. It provided an opportunity for women and girls to identify what makes them feel safe or unsafe in public spaces and to create recommendations, together with local leaders, NGOs and other community members, to make their community safer. During the Safety Audit Walk, participants completed a ‘scorecard’ to rate the safety of various public spaces in Comoro. “Women don’t feel secure when they walk alone at night. They need light. The light can help them feel secure,”’ said Marcelina Alberto Carlos, Aldeia (Hamlet) Chief of Fomento III in Comoro, Dili.

In Italy, the UN Women National Committee drove actions to raise awareness about ending violence against women. Several Italian municipalities joined the 16 Days of Activism by lighting iconic buildings and monuments in orange.

post office staff in all 16 main branches in 16 cities across the country are wearing orange scarfs and disseminating information materials on violence against women and where to seek help
UN Women/Gulnaz Imamniyazova

In Kazakhstan, a roundtable meeting led by UN Women convened representatives from Astana's Department for Internal Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Police, as well as civil society organizations and frontline service providers, such as police, crisis centre workers, psychologists and judges, to discuss the issue of violence against women. Students from the area also participated and organized a flash mob after the event. Throughout the 16 Days, the Kazakhstan post office staff in all 16 main branches in 16 cities across the country are wearing orange scarfs and disseminating information materials on violence against women and where to seek help. In addition, with support from UN Women, a volunteer initiative is engaging business women, psychologists and artists to organize local events including art therapy, art exhibition and psychological consultations for women survivors.

In New York City, USA, the New York City Hall was lit up in orange in honour of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, 2017.

In South Africa, the United Nations joined Ilitha Labantu for their annual Take Back the Night March, held in Gugulethu Township. Photo credits: UN Women/Otae Mkandawire
Take Back the Night march, South Africa. Photo credits: UN Women/Otae Mkandawire

In South Africa, the United Nations joined Ilitha Labantu for their annual Take Back the Night March, held in Gugulethu Township, where violence against women and girls, including rape and murder is high. Over 300 community members walked through the streets, calling for an end to violence and for community members to stand together in making the township safe for all particularly during the night.  Following the march, community members gathered in the Gugulethu Sports Complex where a memorandum of demands was handed over to members of South African Police Services. The Provincial Minister for Safety and Security, MEC Dan Plato also committed to set aside a budget specifically towards ending gender-based violence and called on civil society to work closely with the government and police in making Gugulethu an exemplary safe place for women and girls.  The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, delivered by the United Nations Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed was held in Cape Town on 25 November, and was attended by over 1000 delegates, including more than 100 young women from the Soul City Institute’s Rise Young Women’s Club. “Invest in the missing fifty percent of our human asset base, in the potential of our women to unleash their power for good, to make good on the new era of the Sustainable Development Goals starting with Goal 5 as your docking station for the other sixteen goals that will create a world of true gender equality,” said Ms Mohammed.

The Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa was lit on 25 November to mark the start of 16 Days of Activism. The lighting coincided with the visit of the United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed, who delivered the Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture on 25 November at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The mountain will be lit again on 7 December to spotlight violence against women in rural areas. Members of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament officially launched HeForShe in the Province in a ceremony held on 24 November 2017 led by Speaker Ms Sharnaz Fernandez.

In Thailand, women, men and children from the Southern Border Provinces participated in an event organized by UN Women’s partner, Peace Agenda of Women in Pattani province, where advocates called for action to make public spaces safe for women and children.  Photos: UN Women/PAOW
In Thailand, women, men and children from the Southern Border Provinces participated in an event to mark the 16 Days Campaign Photos: UN Women/PAOW

In Thailand, women, men and children from the Southern Border Provinces participated in an event organized by UN Women’s partner, Peace Agenda of Women in Pattani province. At the event, close to 100 advocates called for action to make public spaces safe for women and children.

In Afghanistan, more than 200 representatives from the Afghan Government, civil society activists and the international community gathered at the Ministry of Women Affairs to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and to kick-off the 16 Days of Activism Campaign. Speaking at the event, H.E. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive, National Unity Government said, “it is important to ensure an enabling environment for women to work in the security sector. We have to create the needed space and environment that can be trusted”.

The United Nations Building in Beijing lit in orange, marking the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism in China. Photo: UN Women, China
The United Nations Building in Beijing lit in orange, marking the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism in China. Photo: UN Women, China

In China, in partnership with Beijing Normal University and Beijing Royal School, UN Women has launched the national 2017 #OrangetheWorld #16 Days of Activism Campaign at the Beijing Royal School on the eve of 25 November. "The 16 days campaign and Orange the World campaign come at a pivotal time in society, during which gender-based violence is being brought into the spotlight,” said Mr. Rosellini, United Nations Resident Coordinator in China. The United Nations Building in Beijing was lit in orange in the evening marking the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism in China.

At the Beijing Royal School event, four peer educators from the school and a Beijing Normal University resident social worker introduced the achievements from the joint peer education project with UN Women. A talent show with the theme of combating gender-based violence was organized by 200 young peer educators, including drama performances, choir performances and public speaking.

Tbilisi TV tower illuminated in orange. Photo: UN Women
Tbilisi TV tower illuminated in orange. Photo: UN Women

In Georgia, at the initiative of the UN Women, and with the support of the Office of Tbilisi’s Mayor, the TV broadcasting Tower in Tbilisi was lit in orange. With this symbolic gesture, Tbilisi joined the global 16 Days of Activism and Orange the World campaign.


Photo: Presidential Palace, Lebanon
Photo: Presidential Palace, Lebanon

In Lebanon, the 16 days of Activism was kicked off through the unveiling of its first monument dedicated to women who have lost their lives to family violence. Speaking at the launch, the President of Lebanon, His Excellency General Michel Aoun, reaffirmed both his personal commitment and that of his government, noting that when he first was elected as President, one of his first action was to review and address discriminatory legal provisions. Read more»

In Pristina, Kosovo, the ballet performance, “NJË DITË” / “One Day”, led by American choreographer Christina Coleman, unfolded inspirational real life stories of women in Kosovo and urged for action to end violence against women and girls. Almost 350 people participated at the premiere of the ballet performance on 25 November to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women at the Kosovo National Theatre. The performance presented the dynamics of power in gender relations and aimed to unveil the inevitable reality caused by the inequality. To advocate for the 16 Days of Activism Campaign and the ballet performance, a press conference was held in the National Theatre of Kosovo, on 24 November with Vlora Nushi from UN Women, Christina Colman, the Choreographer and Ahmet Brahimaj and Director of the National Ballet of Kosovo.

24 November

People commemorate the 16 Days of Activism with flashmobs across Ukraine. UN Women/Andriy Krepkih
People commemorate the 16 Days of Activism with flashmobs across Ukraine. UN Women/Andriy Krepkih

Residents of 16 cities all over Ukraine joined the 16 Days of Activism campaign through flashmobs with orange umbrellas. People from all walks of life— police officers, representatives of international organizations and civil society organizations, together with the local authorities and the general public—joined the initiative, to raise awareness about the issue. UN Agencies and partners illuminated the Monument of Independence on Maidan Square in orange. Since then many other landmarks of Ukraine have been lit up in orange. At “SHE Congress”, an annual feminist speaking platform in Ukraine, which gathered around 500 women and men to talk about diversity and women’s empowerment, Anastasia Divinskaya, the UN Women Representative in the country, joined Victor Ishkov, CEO BBDO in a public talk. Participants of the event joined the flashmob, saying "No" to violence.

In Morocco, UN Women oranged the sky of Rabat with 1500 orange and ecofriendly balloons.
Photo: UN Women/Younes El Moumine

In Morocco, UN Women in the Maghreb oranged the sky of Rabat with 1500 orange and ecofriendly balloons to mark the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign. In the UNESCO World Heritage site of Chellah, about 300 people, including UN Women’s partners, such as the UN Country team, key institutions and the civil society, as well as the general public came together for an event that raised awareness about the issue of violence against women. The event featured inspirational remarks and interactive activities, such as a photo booth, an interactive quiz and a “make your slogan” stand. Speakers included Leila Rhiwi, Representative of UN Women in Maghreb; Bassima Hakkaoui, the Moroccan Minister for Family, Solidarity, Equality and Social Development; and Philippe Poinsot, the UN Resident Coordinator in Morocco. UN Women Representative Leila Rhiwi also spoke during the evening news broadcast and Raphaëlle Rafin, UN Women programme coordinator participated in a national television show called “Niqash” to discuss the 16 Days of Activism: "

Photo: Ramin Mazur/UN Women
Photo: Ramin Mazur/UN Women

In Moldova, the United Nations system and the Embassy of Sweden, in partnership with the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, organized a classical music concert to launch the global “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign”. Through the concert, 500 representatives of the Government, civil society organizations, as well as development partners and mass-media expressed their solidarity with the women and girls of Moldova, who have experienced violence and the threat of violence. Furthermore, in partnership with the National Coalition “Life without Domestic Violence”, an online fund-raising campaign was launched at the concert, and the National Philharmonic “Serghei Lunchevici” was illuminated in orange, symbolizing a bright, optimistic future and a life without violence. Read more»

 #ElesPorElas sign outside of the MOZEFO venue, Joaquim Chissano International Conference Centre.   PHOTO CREDITS: UN Women/Lesira Girds
Photo: UN Women/Lesira Girds

The United Nations in Mozambique, led by UN Women launched the national HeForShe campaign (#ElesPorElas) in the Mozambican Economic and Social Forum, under the theme "Knowledge, Motivation, Action: Accelerate the Road to Sustainable Development”.

In Bangladesh, the 16 Days of Activism launched at an event in Rabindra Sarobar, Dhaka, on 24 November. Photo credit: UN Women/Saikat Majumdar
Photo credit: UN Women/Saikat Majumdar

In Bangladesh, the 16 Days of Activism launched at an event in Rabindra Sarobar, Dhaka, on 24 November. UN Women, along with 20 other organizations including Nari Pokhyo, Mahila Parishad and Oxfam participated in various cultural activities, including poetry recitation, dance and musical performances under the theme of ͞ “Leave N One Behind͟”. Speaking at the event, UN Women Country Representative, Shoko Ishikawa called for decisive actions to prevent and respond to violence against women and children, including through laws.

In Pakistan, to kick off the 16 Days of Activism, the Punjab Assembly's Building was illuminated in orange to show solidarity with the campaign. Leading up to the 16 Days, UN Women also collaborated with the Swedish Embassy and the European Union to present SEVEN, a play based on the real-life stories of seven women’s rights activists from Nigeria, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Russia, Pakistan, Northern Ireland and Cambodia. The play was presented as a reading in Islamabad on 20 November, and will also be presented in Lahore later this week. The play was created by seven playwrights in collaboration with Vital Voices Global Partnership and has been performed in 23 countries since the project started in 2009. Each time, the readings are performed by seven individuals representing different segments of the society, for instance, journalists, activists, politicians and survivors.

 

UN Women and Orange Liberia celebrate the launch of a new partnership. UN Women/Winston Daryoue
UN Women and Orange Liberia celebrate the launch of a new partnership. UN Women/Winston Daryoue

To commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Liberia, UN Women and the telecommunication company Orange Liberia launched a new partnership to provide ICT and Mobile Banking Services to 14,000 women and girls from UN Women-supported networks such as the Association of Women in Cross Border Trade, the National Rural Women Structure and the Peace Hut Women of Liberia. Through the partnership, the women will be trained to utilize various ICT platforms to facilitate financial transactions between rural market women and their suppliers; Facilitate purchase of goods and payment to vendors, as well as become Mobile Money Agents in their communities through the Village and Saving Loans Associations. Another area of focus of the partnership will be on increasing awareness on ending violence against women and girls by promoting the Unite Campaign through monthly text messages to Orange subscribers and other public awareness initiatives. During the launch of the partnership in Monrovia which was attended by UN Women Liberia Representative Marie Goreth Nizigama, the Vice President of Orange Liberia William Saamoi joined the HeForShe Campaign and pledged his company’s commitment to mobilizing men as champions for Gender Equality.

Photo: Ministers at the award ceremony (from left to right): Brune Poirson, State Secretary to the Minister for Green and Solidarity-based Transition; Nathalie Loiseau, Minister of State for European Affairs; Sophie Cluzel, State Secretary for Disabled Persons; and Marlène Schiappa, State Secretary for Equality between Women and Men. Credit: Ricardo Castro / Comité ONU Femmes France
Photo: Ministers at the award ceremony (from left to right): Brune Poirson, State Secretary to the Minister for Green and Solidarity-based Transition; Nathalie Loiseau, Minister of State for European Affairs; Sophie Cluzel, State Secretary for Disabled Persons; and Marlène Schiappa, State Secretary for Equality between Women and Men. Credit: Ricardo Castro / Comité ONU Femmes France

For the second year in row, the French National Committee for UN Women collaborated with universities, companies and cities, as “Orange Day Champions" for taking actions to end violence against women. The National Committee selected 15 best applicants in France for the title, including two companies (Franprix and Carrefour), seven universities and six cities, including Nice and Paris. On 24 November, an award ceremony was also organized, hosted by Marlene Schiappa, Secretary of State for Equality Between Women and Men. The State Secretary building was lit in orange to mark the 16 Days of Activism.

22 November

Participants in the official commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in New York. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Participants in the official commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in New York. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

At UN Headquarters in New York, the official commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November) took place with the attendance of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and Oscar-nominated actor and UK Global Dementia Friends and Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, Carey Mulligan, among others. The event also featured segments of the Emmy-award winning series, “The Handmaid’s Tale”, followed by a panel discussion with members of the cast and crew. UN Trust Fund programme participants, Dragana Ciric Milovanovic and Morgen Chinoona spoke about the violence prevention and improving care for women and girls with disabilities. See the press release►

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, UN Women and partners engaged youth and social innovators for Ideathons and hackathons to explore innovative and technology solutions to localized issues of violence against women. The initiative brought together young people aged 15 – 30 years from across the country in a series of events from 22 – 23 November. Some technology solutions that emerged out of the ideathons included “TraceBrace”—a bracelet that allows the wearer in crisis or threatening situations to send their location to their emergency contact; a mobile application to support online counselling; an online platform for teenagers on cyberbullying; and a mobile phone game with hidden messages that familiarize the user about various forms of violence and how to recognize the signs of abuse. These ideas will be further developed into prototypes at a hackathon that will take place from December 7 – 9.

20 November

Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janiero, Brazil is bathed in orange light. Photo: UNIC/Pedro Andrade
Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janiero, Brazil is bathed in orange light. Photo: UNIC/Pedro Andrade

In Brazil, Rio’s Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) is lit orange to mark the 16 Days of Activism. As part of the 16 Days Campaign, UN Women is leading events and oranging several landmark buildings and iconic monuments in the country, including the Cristo Redentor, the Elevador Lacerda and the Buriti Palace. In Brazil, the mobilization began on Monday, with the Black Consciousness Day.

18 November

16 Orange Buses in Da Nang City. Photo: UN Women/Hoang Thao
16 Orange Buses in Da Nang City. Photo: UN Women/Hoang Thao

On the morning of 18 November, in Da Nang, Viet Nam, 16 public buses were decorated in orange with messages on ending violence against women and sexual harassment in public spaces, in commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism campaign. In Viet Nam, it’s also the national action month on gender equality and gender-based violence prevention and response. The messages will be permanently used in these buses to show the commitment of Da Nang city to build a safe city for women and girls.

4 November

The Ho Chi Minh city People's Committee Building. Photo: UN Women/Nguyen Hoang Gia
The Ho Chi Minh city People's Committee Building. Photo: UN Women/Nguyen Hoang Gia

Viet Nam launched its National Action Month on Gender Equality and Prevention of Gender-based Violence at Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street, Ho Chi Minh city, on 4 November. For the first time, the Ho Chi Minh city People's Committee Building was lit in orange, demonstrating the city's commitment to ending gender-based violence. A series of exciting activities took place, including the “HeForShe Men Who Care and Share” contest; a painting competition on Safe City for children and an art exhibit to promote gender equality.