City Hall to be lit in orange as Brussels joins UN Women's Safe Cities Global Initiative

Date: Friday, November 20, 2015

The Grand Palace City Hall in Brussels was lit orange on 24 November 2015, on the eve of the International Day to End Violence against Women. Photo: UNRIC/Michael Durickas.
The Grand Palace City Hall in Brussels was lit orange on 24 November 2015, on the eve of the International Day to End Violence against Women. Photo: UNRIC/Michael Durickas.

Brussels will become the first city in Belgium to join UN Women’s Global Flagship Initiative “Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces” which aims to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls in public spaces. The announcement came today in the lead-up to the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, a global campaign running from 25 November through Human Rights Day on 10 December, which raises public awareness and mobilizes people everywhere to end all forms of violence against women and girls. As a champion city in the Flagship Initiative, Brussels will also light its City Hall in orange on 25 November following a call from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to “Orange the World” on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and throughout the following 16 Days. 

Yvan Mayeur, Mayor of the City of Brussels, and Mohamed Ouriaghli, Alderman of Equal Opportunities, announced the participation of Brussels in UN Women’s Global Flagship Initiative: “The City of Brussels is already very involved to guarantee equality between women and men, and fight steadfastly against violence towards women. Last year, in September 2014, the City Council voted its first Action Plan in order to coordinate all the initiatives taken to improve the situation. Today, by joining this network under the aegis of UN Women, we will accentuate our measures and take advantage of international cooperation and expertise.” 

UN Women will partner with the City of Brussels, capital of Europe, providing access to city partners on good practices and tools to assist in their efforts in implementing an innovative approach that promotes women’s and girls’ rights to enjoy public spaces free from violence. 

“We deeply appreciate that the City of Brussels is becoming a Champion City for the Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global Initiative. With this commitment, Brussels is adding its name to a long and growing list of cities including: New Delhi, Quito, Rabat, Medellin, Port Moresby, Dublin and New York. We look forward to our partnership with city authorities as they develop and advocate for policies and practices to boost women’s safety, equality and empowerment in Brussels,” underlined Dagmar Schumacher, Director, UN Women Brussels Liaison Office.

By lighting City Hall, Brussels joins a growing number of governments, civil society organizations and individuals all over the world participating in the global campaign ‘Orange the World: End Violence against Women and Girls’, an initiative which will take place under the umbrella of the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women, aimed at raising global awareness and inspiring action in efforts to end violence against women and girls. The City Hall will be lit in orange on 25 November from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Events for the ‘Orange the World’ initiative are planned in more than 70 countries around the world ahead of and throughout the 16 days.

Photos will be shared with media on the morning of 25 November. 

Background 

UN Women Global Flagship Initiative “Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces”

UN Women’s Global Flagship Initiative “Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces” builds on the Global Programme “Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls” launched in 2010. Participating cities commit to identifying gender-responsive interventions, implementing comprehensive laws and policies to prevent and respond to sexual violence against women and girls in public spaces, investing in the safety of public spaces, and changing attitudes and behaviors to promote women’s and girls’ rights to enjoy public spaces free from violence. As of 2015, 21 cities are participating, with more cities coming forward. Additional information is available at: https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/creating-safe-public-spaces 

UN Campaign “Orange the World: End Violence against Women and Girls”

The United Nations Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women is launching the initiative ‘Orange the World: End Violence against Women and Girls’ which calls upon the UN system, governments, civil society and others to organize and participate in events aimed at raising awareness and mobilizing action to eliminate violence against women and girls in all parts of the world. The initiative is also known as the ´16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence´ running from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day). The colour orange is a consistent theme uniting all events during the 16 days, as the official colour of the UNiTE campaign and as a symbol of a bright and optimistic future free from violence against women and girls. Additional information is available at: https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/end-violence-against-women

Follow @unwomenEU and the hashtags #orangetheworld and #16days to join the conversation on social media.