Media advisory: UN commemoration of the International Day to End Violence against Women, 25 November 2014: “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood”


What: This year’s theme to mark the International Day to End Violence against Women, 25 November, and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence is “Orange Your Neighbourhood”.  The colour orange, bright and optimistic, has been designated by the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women to symbolize a better future without this pervasive human rights violation that affects as many as one in three women and girls worldwide. The iconic Empire State Building, the UN Secretariat building and large screens in Times Square in New York will be lit orange to mark the day, along with the official commemoration event at UN Headquarters.

You are invited to the following press opportunities:

Empire State Building Lighting Ceremony
10.30 – 11 a.m.
Empire State Building Lobby, 350 Fifth Avenue, New York
*RSVP required:
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
and actress Teri Hatcher, will “Flip the Switch” to illuminate the Empire State Building. Following the ceremony, there will be a photo opportunity at the observation deck. The Empire State Building will shine an orange light starting at sunset.

Lighting of the UN Secretariat building
7 p.m.
1st Avenue & 42th Street
At 7 p.m., the UN will be lit in orange; it is the first time that the two buildings –Empire State Building and UN Headquarters— will be lit simultaneously to highlight a cause. Photographers and camera crews should be located on 1st Avenue and 43rd Street.   

On 25 November, the Nasdaq and Reuters Tower screens in Times Square, one of the world's most visited tourist attractions, will light up in orange with UN Women messages. 


Commemoration of the International Day to End Violence against Women
10.30 a.m. – 12 noon
Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York
RSVP: here

Official commemoration at UN Headquarters to observe the Day. The event will include the participation of:

  • Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General
  • H.E. Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative, United Arab Emirates
  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women
  • Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA
  • Chirlane McCray, First Lady, New York City
  • Teri Hatcher, Actress
  • Danai Gurira, Actress

Moderator: Amna Nawaz, Correspondent for NBC News

Panel Discussion: Violence against Women: Best Laws and Policies - Learning from the winners of the 2014 Future Policy Award
3 – 5 p.m.
Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, UN Secretariat, New York

UN Women in partnership with the IPU and the World Future Council will hold a panel, followed by an interactive discussion, focusing on implementation of laws and policies, effective practices, gaps and the way forward in relation to the review of the Beijing Platform for Action at its 20th anniversary.
Speakers will include:

  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General, UN Women
  • Margaret Mensah-Williams, President, Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
  • Marja Ruotanen, Director of Human Dignity and Equality, Directorate General of Democracy, Council of Europe
  • Michael Paymar, House of Representatives, Minnesota and Ms. Melissa Scaia, Executive Director, Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP), Duluth
  • H.E. Mr. Andreas Riecken, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations
  • Nafissatou J Diop, Senior Adviser, Coordinator UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM/C: Accelerating Change, UNFPA

Moderator: Ms. Alexandra Wandel, Director, World Future Council


Women are beaten in their homes, harassed on the streets, bullied on the Internet. Globally, one in three women will experience physical or sexual violence at some point in her life — mostly by an intimate partner. Of all women killed in 2012, almost half died at the hands of a partner or family member.
The International Day to End Violence against Women is commemorated worldwide on 25 November. The Day also kicks off the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, an international campaign which runs until 10 December (Human Rights Day), inviting individuals and groups to mobilize and call for the elimination of violence against women and girls. This year’s theme, framed by the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women, is “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood”.

Note to media: A TV feed for the official commemoration on the 25th will be accessible through UNTV at

Non-UN accredited media who wish to attend events at the UN should contact the Media Accreditation Unit:

Join the conversation: Follow @SayNO_UNiTE and share your messages using the hashtags #orangeurhood and #16days.