International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Human Rights Day
Orange the World to End Violence against Women
This year, to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world, the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign aims to “Orange the world.” During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, from International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November to Human Rights Day on 10 December, “Orange Events” will take place around the world including in Europe and Central Asia.
Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2015
In Istanbul on 10 December, a ceremony closing the 16 days of activism to end violence against women included speeches by UN Women’s Executive Director, UNFPA Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Turkey’s Minister for Family and Social Policies and the Mayor of Istanbul. It also featured a video screening, notes hung on a ‘wishing tree’, and concluded with a water, light and laser show over the Bosphorus Strait, with participants enjoying the view from an orange-lit Maiden Tower, one of the city’s major landmarks. The event was co-hosted by UN Women and the Mayor of Istanbul.
The main government building in Pristina, Kosovo (under UN Security Council Resolution 1244) was lighted in orange to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence. A photo exhibition Everyday Hereos and Heroines for Gender Equality was shown at the campaign kick-off. The 16 pictures that comprised the exhibition were taken by youth aged 14 to 20 years and portray their personal heroes and heroines for gender equality. The photographs depict people who in one way or another fight to achieve a more equal society in their everyday lives. The photos are also showcased online on the campaign website. People can vote for their favorite photos online as well as offline until 8 December.
The Skopje Stone Bridge 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.
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. 27 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. UN Women Europe and Central Asia Regional Office, in collaboration with Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, launched the campaign with a special lighting ceremony at the Maiden Tower where members of the media were also present. 27 buildings including the Galata Tower, the two Bosporus bridges and other symbolic and historic sites in the city will stay orange during 16 days. Read more »
In Copenhagen, Denmark, the famous Little Mermaid statue was illuminated in orange light to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. UN Women’s Nordic Office, in cooperation with Danish company Thornico A/S and Danish NGO Danner, held a lighting ceremony complete with “orange” hot chocolate served to participants. Thornico A/S engages in projects with social dimensions and wishes to put focus on ending violence against women, while Danner is managing a women’s shelter with counselling and housing for women and children that have experienced violence.
As part of this year’s initiative of the UN Secretary General, monuments and landmarks in Belgrade, Serbia, were colored orange to symbolize brighter future for women, free from violence.
The Serbian National Assembly, the Ada Bridge, the Government building, the National Theatre, the Victor Monument at the historic fortress and the Palace Albania building will stay orange for 16 days in support of the campaign and call for action to end violence against women. Explore more photos on Flickr.
On 25 November, Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, Norway, was lit orange to show support for the UNiTE Campaign and its global call to “Orange the World.” The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, during which landmarks around the world are lit orange.
The 18th Century Ethem Beu Mosque in Albania's capital Tirana have joined the global call to "orange the world" and went orange on 25 November. “Orange activities” across the country kicked off 16 Days of Activism calling for a world free of violence against women and girls. Strong messages have been delivered to act against gender-based violence. UN Women in Albania supports more than 40 activities across the country during 16 days, aiming to engage the government, civil society, media and local communities in the worldwide movement to end violence against women.
In Tirana, for the first time, leaders of religious communities signed a joint declaration to act jointly against the global pandemic of violence against women. A concert at the main square of the city brought together representatives of the Albanian Government, international community and activists who raised their voice for a world free from violence and demanded action to prevent violence against women. Explore more photos on Flickr.
During a ceremony at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, the Palais de l’Europe, which serves as headquarters for the Council of Europe, was lit orange as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The ceremony was presided by the Council of Europe’s Secretary-General, Thorbjørn Jagland.
The historic fortress in Travnik went orange as Bosnia and Herzegovina joined Secretary General's call to `orange the world` this year. Landmark buildings across the country have been lit in orange to draw attention to the issue of violence against women and stimulate action. UN Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina will also organize workshops with university students in 5 cities on the issue of violence against women and girls, stressing out the importance of informal education and outlining the work of service providers in the country.
Another building that went orange in Bosnia and Herzegovina was the City Administraiton Building in Banja Luka. Other landmarks in Sarajevo, Travnik, Mostar and Banja Luka went orange on 24 November and the light has shined throughout the night. Explore more photo on Flickr.
Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Turkish Parliament turned orange to show support for the UNiTE Campaign and its global call to “Orange the World.” The Parliament will stay orange for 16 Days in support of the campaign and to raise awareness to the issue of violence against women. There will also be posters in the parliament in support of the campaign.
Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, on the eve of 24 November, 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.
Brussels also became 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 in the lead-up to the 16 Days of Activism. Brussels also lit its City Hall in orange the evening before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Read more »
This year, the annual International Istanbul Marathon took place under the theme of ending violence against women. More than 100,000 people participated in the marathon including 30,000 runners from around the world. The slogan “Say No to Violence against Women” was present on billboards and promotional materials and the marathon was ‘orange-themed’. Watch this video to see how Istanbul said ‘No’ to violence against women during the marathon.
On 24 October 2015, the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, went orange to show support for Orange Day (25 October). The October Orange Day theme sought to raise awareness of the need for access to essential services for survivors of violence against women and girls. On this issue, The Hague hosted the 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters from 3-6 November 2015. The Peace Palace was illuminated blue for the 70-year anniversary of the United Nations, but transitioned to bright orange that evening, ahead of 25 October. Watch the lights go from blue to orange in this video.
This year Istanbul joins UN Secretary General’s global call to “Orange the World” and will turn orange to raise awareness about ending violence against women and girls. Read more »