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

10 December

Closing Ceremony at Maiden Tower- Istanbul lazer show website 675x449
Orange messages were flashed across spraying water on the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul on 10 December 2015. Photo: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

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. 

30 November

Kosovo - GovernmentBuilding website full 675x450
Government Building in Pristina, Kosovo (under UN Security Council Resolution 1244). Photo: UNKT / Arben Llapashtica 

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. 

25 November

Macedonia_Skopje Stone Bridge website full 675x450
The Skopje Stone Bridge, one of the key historical landmarks of the FYR Macedonia. Photo: McCann Skopje

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.

Turkey- Maiden Tower website h full 675x450
Maiden Tower, Istanbul, Turkey 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. 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 »

Denmark_Copenhagen_TheLittleMermaid_3_675x450
Denmark’s Little Mermaid statue was lit in orange on the eve of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November 2015. Photo: UN Women/Anders M. Kjemtrup

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.

Serbia Government Building Belgrade website full 675x450
National Government Building in Belgrade, Serbia. Photo: Branko Starcevic

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. 

SerbiaAda Bridge Belgrade website full 675x450
Ada Bridge, Belgrade, Serbia. Photo: Branko Starcevic

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.

Norway_SkiJump_stoppvoldmotkvinner18_675x450
In Oslo, Norway the statue of a skier stands out against the orange-lit backdrop of the Holmenkollen ski jump. Photo: Susanne A. Finnes

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.

Albania_Orange Mosque_website full 675x450

‘Et’hem Beu’ Mosque in Tirana, Albania was lit in orange on 25 November in support of the 16 days of activism. Photo: UN Albania

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.

Albania_Orange_OrthodoxCathedral_website full 675x450

Orthodox Cathedral in Tirana, Albania was lit in orange on 25 November supporting UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. Photo: UN Albania

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.

France_CouncilOfEurope_Nov2015_45927_027_1_675x450
The Palais de l’Europe in Strousbourg, France was lit orange in a Council of Europe ceremony in response to the UNiTE campaigns call to orange the world. Photo: Council of Europe/Sandro Weltin

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.

24 November

BiH-Fortness Travnik website full 675x400
Fortress Travnik in Bosnia and Herzegovina turned orange calling for an end to violence against women. Photo: UN Women Bosnia and Herzegovina

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.

BIH -City administration building Banja Luka website full 675x450
City Administration Building Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina turned orange calling for an end to violence against women. Photo: UN Women Bosnia and Herzegovina

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.

Turkish Parliament website h full 675x266

Turkish Parliament joins the global call to orange the world to end violence against women. Photo: Grand National Assembly of Turkey/Bulent Yilmaz

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.

Belgium_Brussels-EU-Commission 675x450
The Berlaymont building in Brussels, Belgium was lit in orange in support of the ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence’ campaign. Photo: European Commission, 2015

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.

Belgium_GrandPlace_ 675x450
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 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 » 


15 November

Turkey Istanbul Marathon website h full 675x437

Ahead of the International Day to End Violence against Women and the 16 Days of Activism the theme of the 2015 International Istanbul Marathon was ending violence against women. Photo: UN Women/Müslüm Bayburs

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.

24 October

Netherlands- website h full 675x450

The Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, was lit in orange on 24 October 2015. Photo: Audiovisuele Media/Sjaak de Groot

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.

23 October

Turkey Signature Ceremony website h full 675x450

Photo: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

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 »

Snapshots of orange events in 2015

#orangetheworld Europe and Central Asia 2015