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

Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape!

Date: Wednesday, November 27, 2019

From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women until 10 December, Human Rights Day, multiple events across the region, such as marches, art installations, theater plays and sports activities will be organized as part of the UN System-wide initiatives for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, to urge actions to end this scourge that impacts one in three women worldwide. As in previous years, iconic buildings and monuments will be ‘oranged’ to call for a violence-free future.

The theme of this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign is “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape!” The theme highlights the need to end the “rape culture” that is entrenched in our society, whether in situations of conflict, peace, in our homes or on the streets. As in previous years, UN Women offices and partners across the region will use the orange colour to symbolize hope and a brighter future without violence against women.

1 December

More than 120 participants from Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Russia gathered in Dushanbe. Photo: UN Women/ Sulaiman Mukhamedjanov
More than 120 participants from Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Russia gathered in Dushanbe. Photo: UN Women/ Sulaiman Mukhamedjanov

More than 120 participants, including representatives of the Government of Tajikistan and civil society, international and youth organizations, networks of women living with HIV, and HIV activists from Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Russia gathered in Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital, to discuss the key role of women and young people in finding effective solutions to HIV-related issues. Participants also discussed the importance of strengthening the capacities of youth and women’s networks in decision-making and active response to the HIV epidemic.

25 November

“Light the Dark” exhibition is the first open-air lighting installation exhibition to be displayed in a public space in Turkey. Photo: UN Women Turkey
“Light the Dark” exhibition is the first open-air lighting installation exhibition to be displayed in a public space in Turkey. Photo: UN Women Turkey

To kick off 16 Days of Activism this year, UN Women Turkey is launching a national “Light the Dark” campaign to draw attention to safety of women and girls in public spaces. UN Women calls everyone to mark the places where they feel unsafe with a firefly on a map of Turkey. Read more.

Turkey’s first public open-air lighting installation exhibition opened to visitors in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, to call for a world free from violence against women and girls. Organized by UN Women, in collaboration with the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, Çankaya Municipality and the Embassy of Sweden in Turkey, ‘Light the Dark’ lighting installation exhibition uses lighting designs to draw attention to different forms of violence against women. Read more.

The park of the Woman Fighter in Skopje was lit up in orange to mark the launch of 16 days of activism campaign. Photo: UN in North Macedonia
The park of the Woman Fighter in Skopje was lit up in orange to mark the launch of 16 days of activism campaign. Photo: UN in North Macedonia

To mark the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign the Government of North Macedonia, the Delegation of the EU, the OSCE Mission to Skopje, UN agencies and civil society organizations have joined forces with an influential launch event on 25 November, which took place at the park of the Woman Fighter in Skopje. Read more.

16 Days campaign was launched at the international conference in Almaty. Photo credit: UN Women/Sabina Mendybayeva
16 Days campaign was launched at the international conference in Almaty. Photo credit: UN Women/Sabina Mendybayeva 
Kazakhstan kicked off 16 Days of Activism with an international conference on the prevention and tackling of violence against women and girls on 25 November in the Almaty region of Kazakhstan. The three-day event was organized by the public foundation ‘NeMolchiKz’ in partnership with UN Women, OSCE Programme Office in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh government, and the Akimat (regional administration) of Almaty region. The event brought together some 5000 professionals from law enforcement, civil society, women’s rights activists, medical professionals, school directors, school psychologists, students, parent-teacher associations from the Almaty region, as well as representatives of the national and local government, international organizations and experts from Russia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Participants discussed best practices in preventing gender-based violence and protecting victims, effective measures to tackle violence against women and girls, and issues concerning the inter-agency response to domestic violence. A number of practical recommendations on effective prevention and response to violence against women and girls and submitted to the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The embankment of the Yessil River, which streams through Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan’s capital, lit up in orange in support of the 16 Days campaign.

UNwomen launches street campaign to improved safety of Women in Serbia. Photo: UN Women/
UN Women launches street campaign to improved safety of Women in Serbia. Photo: UN Women/Nemanja Jovanovic

 

 

To mark the beginning of 16 Days of Activism and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women, UN Women launched a street campaign in Serbia to raise awareness about the prevalence of gender-based violence by branding five public buses in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis and Kragujevac with campaign messages and key statistics on violence against women. UN Women decorated some bustling parts of these cities with visual campaign materials, including posters and videos.

Organized in partnership with the Coordination Body for Gender Equality of the Republic of Serbia and the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia, the campaign aims to inform the wider public about violence against women and engage them in 16 Days of Activism.

The Pristina Public Library “Pjeter Bogdani”. Photo: UN Women Kosovo/Arben Llapashtica
The Pristina Public Library “Pjeter Bogdani”. Photo: UN Women Kosovo/Arben Llapashtica
The Pristina Public Library “Pjeter Bogdani” was lit up in orange to call for a brighter future for women and girls free of violence. The symbolic library hosted high-level guests including ambassadors and UN agencies, as well as many from the public who came to witness the lighting of the building. A safety audit process conducted last year found the area around the library as one of the least secure areas in the city. The orange lighting was a symbol of safe and more secure spaces for women and girls. Swedish Ambassador in Kosovo, Karin Hernmarck Ahliny, and UN Kosovo Team Development Coordinator, Ulrika Richardson opened the lighting ceremony.
To mark the opening of 16 Days of Activism, UN agencies, civil society organizations, private sector and government partners came together to defend women’s rights. Photo: UN Women Tajikistan
To mark the opening of 16 Days of Activism, UN agencies, civil society organizations, private sector and government partners came together to defend women’s rights. Photo: UN Women Tajikistan 
 
To mark the opening of 16 Days of Activism, UN agencies, civil society organizations, private sector and government partners in Tajikistan came together to show their commitment to defending the rights of women and girls. Read more.
The symbolic TV Broadcasting Tower in Tbilisi. Photo: UN Women/Leli Blagonravova
The symbolic TV Broadcasting Tower in Tbilisi. Photo: UN Women/Leli Blagonravova
The symbolic TV Broadcasting Tower in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, was lit up in orange on 25 November to symbolize a world free from violence and discrimination against women and girls. Tbilisi TV Tower, standing on Mtatsminda (the Holy Mountain), is the national symbol of the capital and can be seen almost from all main districts of the city. Tbilisi joins the global campaign against gender-based violence every year since 2016 by oranging this important landmark with support from the Mayor’s Office.
Civil society, students and the media march in the main square of the city of Elbasan during International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Photo: Woman Forum Elbasan/Andi Allko

Students, civil society and media representatives are marching at the main square of the city of Elbasan on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Photo: Woman Forum Elbasan/Andi Allko

Albania kicked off 16 Days of Activism with a special opening event, organized by UN Women, UNDP and UNFPA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. This year’s campaign in Albania calls for listening and trusting the survivors of all forms of violence, putting them at the center of response, and ending the culture of rape. The campaign aims to shift the focus from questioning survivors’ credibility to putting the perpetrators before justice. One in two women in Albania have experienced at least one form of violence in their lifetime; 8,6 percent have been sexually violated; 12.6 percent have been stalked; 18,1 percent have been sexually harassed and 18,2 percent have been physically and sexually violated by a non-partner, according to the 2018 survey of the Institute of Statistics. The national launch event was funded by the Swedish Government and the European Commission.

Young people, and representatives of non-governmental organizations and media, marched at the main square of Elbasan, a city in central Albania, to call for the elimination of violence against women and girls and raise awareness about the issue. The march, and the following discussion session, were organized by Woman Forum Elbasan, in partnership with the Municipality of Elbasan and the Local Educational Office. Changemakers from across different sectors of the society, including religious communities, came together to emphasize the value of equality and non-discrimination and to challenge harmful gender stereotypes. These initiatives were supported by the UN Women-EU regional programme “Implementing Norms, Changing Minds”.

Find a selection of photos from the 16 Days of Activism across the region here.