One in three women worldwide faces violence; abuse and rape everyday while one in five women experience domestic violence during their lifetime. Women are in constant fear and terror.
This year marks 24 years since the initiation of the international campaign which started in 1991; 16 Days of Activism against Gender- Based Violence. So far over 5,000 governments; policy makers; organisations; UN agencies as well as individuals have participated in activities to condemn sexism; violence culture; racism while calling for the implementation of the human rights laws to end gender – based violence worldwide.
The United Nations call to “orange the World” shall galvanize global action calling for an end to violence against women and girls. UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka notes that violence against women and girls remains one of the most tolerated and serious human rights violation.
The call to action is part of the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, led by UN Women. The colour orange, which has come to symbolize a bright and optimistic future free from violence against women and girls, will help unify the large-scale social mobilization.
These days run from 25th November, UN International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10th December, Human Rights Day. The campaign spans these 16 Days in order to highlight the link between violence against women and human rights. Today, women and girls are subjected to many forms of human rights violations solely on the basis of their gender.
In 2016, the campaign focuses on the relationship between militarism and the right to education in situations of violent conflict. It will look at links of militarism as a patriarchal system of discrimination and inequality based on the relationship to power.
The campaign raises awareness on the reality of domestic violence and to push for positive change to enhance women’s safety. Community groups, rape crisis centres; students; political pressure groups and individual activists all have an opportunity to break the silence on domestic violence. Each year the campaign grows as more people get involved in speaking out about violence against women through organising events in their local communities that highlight the issue of domestic violence whilst promoting services available for women.
This is an opportunity for all stakeholders all over the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and ensure their safety. This could be through highlighting the nature and prevalence of violence against women; showing solidarity with women around the world; promoting women’s leadership; lobbying government as well as strengthening local work to tackle violence against women.