International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence

Orange the World in 16 Days

In 2016, the 16 Days of Activism, which every year sees buildings and landmarks around the world lit in orange in solidarity, will focus on the theme “Orange the world: Raise money to end violence against women and girls”, in the specific context of the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which includes targets on ending violence against women and girls. The 16 Days of Activism spans from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November to Human Rights Day on 10 December and features “Orange Events” around the world and in Europe and Central Asia.

Date: Friday, November 25, 2016

9 December

BosniaandHerzegovina_NationalParkKozaraLitInOrange_2016_Photo_Center for social work Photo: Prijedor_Danko Rauš
The National Park Kozara, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Photo: Center for social work Prijedor/Danko Raus

During the 16 Days of Activism, the Center for Social Work Prijedor joined the global movement and lit the monument in National Park Kozara of Bosnia and Herzegovina in orange color to say no to violence against women and girls.

More than 100 students from Ankara universities attended the youth summit. Photo Credit: UN Women
More than 100 students from Ankara universities attended the youth summit. Photo: UN Women

As part of Turkey’s 16 Days of Activism campaign activities, more than 100 students from Ankara universities attend a youth summit and read out their manifesto, Coloring the World with Equality for a Society without Violence, and share their recommendations to end gender-based discrimination. Read more.

29 November

Ainuru Altybaeva, Member of the Kyrgyz Parliament, calling the deputies of the parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic for active engagement in the 16 days campaign to end violence against women and girls. Photo: UN Women Kyrgyzstan/Meriza Emilbekova
Ainuru Altybaeva, Member of the Kyrgyz Parliament, calling the deputies of the parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic for active engagement in the 16 days campaign to end violence against women and girls. Photo: UN Women/Meriza Emilbekova

As a part of this years’ global campaign on16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women and Girls, gender advocate and Member of Parliament Ms. Ainuru Altybaeva together with young gender activists who are graduates of UN Women “My Safe and Peaceful School” peer education course led an advocacy event at the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic.

25 November

Photo : Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality
Maiden Tower, Istanbul, Turkey Photo: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

One of three bridges in Istanbul, Turkey that was lit orange. Photo: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality
One of three bridges in Istanbul, Turkey that was lit orange. Photo: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the historic Maiden Tower was illuminated in orange to kick off 16 Days of Activism campaign in Istanbul. 30 buildings across the city, including those that belong to the private sector, simultaneously turned orange on 25 November to send a strong signal out to the world that violence against women needs to end. 30 buildings including the Galata Tower, the three bridges and other symbolic and historic sites in the city will stay orange during 16 days.

The Berlaymont building in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: EU/Francois Walschaerts
The Berlaymont building in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: EU/Francois Walschaerts

On 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Berlaymont building in Brussels, Belgium, which serves as headquarters of the European Commission, was lit up in orange to symbolize the European Commission’s continued focus on ending violence against women.

Photo credits: IMIKA Komunikacii, Skopje
The Kale Fortress, one of the key historical landmarks of the FYR Macedonia. Photo: IMIKA Komunikacii

The Kale Fortress was illuminated in orange in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, one of the key historical landmarks of the country. This year, for the 16 Days of Activism, the UN in the country has joined forces with the EU Delegation and national partners to galvanize actions in the country to raise awareness and end violence against women and girls.

The Serbian Parliament in Belgrade, Serbia, lit orange. Photo: UN Women/Bojana Barlovac
The Serbian Parliament in Belgrade, Serbia, lit orange. Photo: UN Women/Bojana Barlovac

As part of this year’s 16 Days of Activism, monuments and landmarks in Belgrade, Serbia, were colored orange to symbolize brighter future for women, free from violence.

UN Women in Serbia installed a giant interactive SOS telephone in Belgrade’s main square as a wake-up call for violence against women and girls. The phone shares strong messages to anyone who answers: 30 women were killed by intimate partners or family members since the beginning of 2016; Every second woman in Serbia was victim of some form of gender-based violence; 327 women were killed by intimate partners or family members in the past ten years. The SOS phone will ring day and night throughout the UN”s global 16 Days of Activism and aims to raise awareness about violence against women and girls. Read more  


National High School of Choreography performing in the main boulevard of Tirana at the launch of “16 days activism against gender based violence”.   Photo credit: Together for Life NGO
National High School of Choreography performing in the main boulevard of Tirana, Albania at the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in. Photo: Together for Life NGO

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Tirana, Albania, the awareness campaign “I choose to live without violence” kicked off. The campaign is a national call to prevent and report gender based and domestic violence, and introduces the solutions and the dedicated services for women victims of violence. The campaign launched by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, UN Women, UNDP and UNFPA in Albania will be extended beyond the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, until March 2017. The campaign will be extended in various urban and rural areas according to a planned calendar of activities aiming to involve local communities, civil society and state institutions for a society free of violence. Read more.

Kazakhstan_UnlabelWomenPhotoexhibition_Opening_AngelicaKim_01 675x450
"Unlabel Women" Photo exhibition opening in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Photo: Angelica Kim

"Unlabel Women" photo exhibition was held in Tengri Umay Gallery in Almaty, Kazakhstan from 25 November to 10 December. Organizers are UN Women MCO Kazakhstan, Central Asian Network of People living with HIV, Union of Crisis Centres, Feminita , AIDS East-West Foundation. It opened with a press conference where issues of violence against women were brought up, with special focus on the need of adequate funding of EVAW. Photo exhibition displayed 16 stories of women, who were either exposed to violence, or who help survivors of violence. Each story begins with a label/stereotype and the story then ends with words destroying stereotypes. Among the 16 women are: survivor of sexual violence, ex-prisoner, women, living with HIV, bisexual, lesbian, bride kidnapped, survivor of domestic violence, refugee, etc.

Tbilisi TV tower in Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo: UN Women/Maka Gogaladze
Tbilisi TV Tower. Photo: UN Women/Maka Gogaladze

Tbilisi TV Tower, which overlooks Georgia's capital was illuminated in orange light as part of the Secretary-General's UNiTE Campaign to End Violence against Women. The lighting took place on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which kicks off the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Read more

To open the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Albania, the capital Tirana and other towns held events featuring public discussions, fund raising, performances and art installations to engage young boys and girls.

24 November

Gender equality activist starts the campaign by pressing the button on the counter of promises; Photo credit: Luka Banjac/UN Women
Ilija Trninić, a gender activist and director of the NGO Perpetuum Mobile starts the campaign by pressing the button on the counter of promises. Photo: UN Women/Luka Banjac

Bosnia and Herzegovina kicked off its 16 Days of Activism on 24 November with the campaign slogan “Turn off violence against women.” The campaign message focused on a “turn off” button that symbolized the simplicity of turning off violence if everyone is involved. Through a symbolic “turn off” button, the campaign reached high schools, sports clubs and even bars across the country. Read more about the campaign here.

The European Parliament building in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: European Union/EP
The European Parliament building in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: European Union/EP

On 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the European Parliament building in Brussels, Belgium was lit in Orange in support of the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE Campaign to End Violence against Women.

The @EYE_film Museum in Amsterdam lit up orange in honor of campaign to END Violence against Women & Girls. #OrangeTheWorld #16Days pic.twitter.com/y7GMbriVzm

On 24 November the EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam was bathed in orange light to raise awareness of violence against women and girls as part of the UNiTE Campaign's 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

19 November

Girls accompanying a Georgian rugby player at Mikheil Meskhi stadium, Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo: UN Women/Maka Gogaladze
Girls accompanying a Georgian rugby player at Mikheil Meskhi stadium, Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo: UN Women/Maka Gogaladze

On 19 November in front of 27,000 fans at Mikheil Meskhi stadium, the national rugby teams of Georgia and Samoa expressed their support for the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign. The Samoan rugby team has followed the Georgian national team’s example in actively joining the cause by expressing their support to the UNiTE campaign. Georgian rugby players have a long-standing partnership with UN Women in the framework of the UN Joint programme for gender equality, funded by the Government of Sweden and implemented by UNDP, UN Women and UNFPA. Read more.

13 November

MPs_Wearing_Orange675x450 Photo: UN Women
Members of the Turkish Parliament call to 'orange the world' to end violence against women and girls. Photo: UN Women

The Committee on Equal Opportunity for Women and Men and Members of the Turkish Parliament came together with UN Women Turkey with a message of solidarity to end violence against women and girls by wearing orange scarves as part of ‘Orange the World’ campaign to raise awareness for 16 days. The scarves are handmade by Turkish women and have become a symbol of the “Orange the World” themed campaign.

Snapshots of orange events in 2016

#orangetheworld Europe and Central Asia 2016