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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We launched this street campaign in Serbia to raise awareness on gender-based violence, branding public buses and decorating bustling parts of 4 cities.👇🏽#orangetheworld #16days pic.twitter.com/T7XNmE4sm5— UN Women Europe & CIS (@unwomeneca) November 27, 2019
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.
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.