End Violence against Women

Banner 25 November 2013 In Focus package

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The Issue

1 in 3 women and girls experience violence in their lifetime #orangeurworld

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. According to a 2013 WHO global study, 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence. However, some national studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime from an intimate partner [1].

To raise awareness and trigger action to end this global scourge, the UN observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. The date marks the brutal assassination in 1960 of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic.

Dos personas saltando con pantalones naranjos #orangeurworld

Every year, 25 November and the ensuing 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence which follow (ending on 10 December, Human Rights Day) are commemorated around the world, providing individuals and groups a chance to mobilize and call attention to the urgent need to end violence against women and girls.

Ending violence against women is one of UN Women’s key priority areas, with programmes addressing the pandemic implemented globally. UN Women also coordinates the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign and supports widespread social mobilization through its Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, UN Women manages the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women which commemorates its 17th anniversary in 2013.


Phumzile in Orange. https://www.flickr.com/photos/109510314@N04/11034243004/lightbox/

As part of this year’s theme “Orange the World in 16 Days”, we invite you to wear orange – the official colour of the UNiTE campaign. On Orange Day, now observed on the 25th of every month, worldwide activities by UN country offices and civil society organizations strive to highlight efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls. This year, the UNITE Campaign is extending Orange Day throughout the 16 Days of Activism.

Participate by submitting a photo with a message “I wear orange because…”

Statements and speeches



Press conference at the UN Secretariat in New York, 11.15 a.m. Speakers include UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri; Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi; Serena Dandini, Italian writer and TV host. Actors/narrators Rosy Canale, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Laurie Fabiano, Valeria Golino, Angela Della Costanza Turner and Maureen van Zandt. Watch an archived version of the webcast here.

At UN Headquarters in New York, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, will provide remarks to open a performance of ‘Wounded to Death,’ a theatrical piece by Italian playwright Serena Dandini and Maura Misiti. The performance will be a series of monologues by women victims of domestic violence, read by well-known international personalities.
Watch an archived recording of the webcast:

A range of events to mark 25 November are being organized around the world. See global coverage of Orange Day activities here. Global activities will also focus on “COMMIT” UN Women’s global initiative launched last year on 25 November. It called on leaders worldwide to take a stand to end violence against women and girls through concrete national commitments.

Feature stories

Two young girls play a game at the Safe House where they live in Adama. Photo: Felix Eldridge.

Survivors find sanctuary and second chance through Ethiopian safe houses

In the town of Adama, women and children violence survivors find shelter and a way to make a living, using skills learned at a safe house supported by UN Women.

Street dwellers march for an end to violence against women as part of the Hibiscus Festival parade, August 2013. Photo: Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International

In Fiji, communities mobilize ground-up to end violence against women and girls

Street workers and the homeless are raising awareness and halting violence against women in public spaces, while more than 700 students and teachers are educating to transform attitudes in 63 schools across Fiji.

Off campus anti-sexual harassment campaign where students had a human chain calling for ending violence against women and sexual harassment in Port Said, Egypt. Photo by Ahmed El Magharbel

Egyptian anti-violence campaigns create a buzz with bike rides, human chains and pink ribbons

In Egypt, where up to 94 per cent of women report having been sexually harassed, students at 28 universities devised a series of clever anti-sexual harassment campaigns.

Orange your ride: Bangkok buses move towards safer commuting

Through training for transit staff, public service videos and pamphlets, the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority aims to crack down on sexual harassment on city buses.

Ms. Hope Tumukunde, Vice Mayor of Kigali, visiting the old town of Quito. Photo: UN Women

Safer Cities: Quito showcases progress during visit from partners in Kigali

In the first south-south exchange under UN Women’s Safe Cities Global Programme, the Deputy Mayor of Kigali, Rwanda, recently visited Quito, Ecuador to share experiences and discuss challenges.
[also available in Spanish]

Samoan helpline launch

Samoan help line saves lives

On this Pacific island, where nearly half of all women report intimate partner violence, almost 2,000 calls have been received in the first five months of the Samoa Victim Support Group’s 24-Hour Help Line Service.

The Rwanda Men's Resource Centre trains men to change negative and violent behaviour. Photo: RWAMREC

In Rwanda, men work to change attitudes and confront gender-based violence

Nearly 3,000 local leaders have already been educated and engaged to fight gender-based violence by a men's resource centre that is promoting the concept of “positive masculinity”.

Members of the Safe Cities Programme in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, launched a song competition to advocate against violence against women and girls. Photo: UN Women

In cities, efforts to make public spaces safer for women and girls

On 25 October 2013, cities around the world held activities marking Orange Day, to raise awareness and promote action to prevent and respond to sexual violence in public spaces.

This poster of a woman with tape on her mouth, symbolizing her inability to speak out, depicts a bride who was kidnapped. The poster was produced by the UN for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Campaign 2011 in Kyrgyzstan. Photo: UN Gender Theme Group Kyrgyzstan/Baktybek Meimanbekov

New law in Kyrgyzstan toughens penalties for bride kidnapping

In a country where an estimated 11,800 girls and women are kidnapped every year to wed against their will, the President of Kyrgyzstan approved legislation to increase the sentence for bride-kidnapping to 10 years in prison. [also in Spanish and French]

Femicide in Latin America: a regional protocol to ensure justice

While women in El Salvador work to implement a law against gender-based killings of women, UN Women and OHCHR have come together to promote a regional protocol against such crimes throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. [also in Spanish]


Video message by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Video message by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Video showcasing actions around the world to Orange the World in 16 Days

UN Multi-Country Study on Men and Violence

A new video on the unprecedented UN survey of 10,000 men conducted by Partners for Prevention, UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), UN Women and UN Volunteers regional joint programme tells us why some men use violence against women in Asia and the Pacific, and how we can prevent it. The full report can be downloaded here.

Watch the Google hangout from 25 November


I wear orange because... 

Orange your World in 16 Days 

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#Orangeurworld in #16days

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