From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991.
The year 2015 marks the 20-year anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most progressive road map to gender equality. World leaders met in March at the United Nations 59th Commission on the Status of Women and in September at the 70th General Assembly to take stock of the progress made and commit to take action to close the gaps that are holding women and girls back. This year a new Sustainable Development agenda, which for the first time includes specific targets and indicators on ending violence against women, also replaced the Millennium Development Goals.
The 2014 theme was “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood.” Participants around the globe took the UNiTE campaign to local streets, shops and businesses, organizing “Orange Events” in their own neighbourhoods, reaching out to your neighbours, local stores, food-sellers on the corner of your street, gas stations, local cinemas, barbers, schools, libraries and post offices. Orange lights were projected and orange flags hung on local landmarks and local ‘orange marches’ were organized on 25 November to raise awareness about violence against women and discuss solutions that would work for specific communities.
From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December 2013, Human Rights Day, UNiTE called for a global action to “Orange Your World in 16 Days.”
As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, organizations and activists organized local and national 'orange' events. From marches, marathons and panel discussions to radio and television programmes, concerts and film festivals, Orange Your World involved governments, celebrities, media, civil society organizations and the United Nations system on the ground and on social media to raise awareness and public engagement.
This year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November and the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign’s 16 days call for action are focused on strategies to prevent violence against women and girls.