It’s time to “Orange the World!” Last Sunday, November 25, was International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Each day from then to December 10 is part of the “Orange the World: #HearMeToo Campaign,” which calls for 16 days of action to end violence against women and girls.
Why orange? Orange is a symbol of a brighter future in which violence no longer exists. During the Campaign, orange will be seen globally in scarves, lights, social media posts, buildings, balloons; well, everywhere! Hopefully, it will be a time of action as well.
At the bottom of this article is a link to a calendar of prayer intentions for each day, prepared by the Daughters of Charity.
UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres, during a November 19 event, called violence against women a “mark of shame on society.”
“At its core, violence against women and girls in all its forms is the manifestation of profound lack of respect – a failure by men to recognize the inherent equality and dignity of women,” Gutteres said.
Violence takes multiple forms: verbal, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; trafficking; early childhood marriage; female genital mutilation; and others. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1 in 3 women and girls have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner violence in their lifetime.
Violence and abuse against women and girls occurs across cultures, nations, and economic situations. Their stories need to be brought to light if the atrocity is to be addressed. Thus, the theme of the ongoing 16 days of advocacy is #HearMeToo.
The Campaign’s title implies the importance of ensuring that survivors, advocates, and human rights defenders are heard through dialogue with the public and with policy makers, and that real action is taken on local, regional and national levels to end violence against women and girls.
It further implies a reassurance of survivors, so that they are free to speak without fear, and a focus on prosecuting perpetrators.
“A culture that changes from questioning the credibility of the victims, to pursuing accountability of the perpetrators within due process, is possible,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of UN Women, at last week’s event to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Secretary General Guterres and the UN Secretary-General’s Unite to End Violence against Women Campaign (UNiTE) call for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts and share knowledge and best practices at ending the violence.
Some upcoming days which also relate to ending violence against women and girls include:
29 November – International Women Human Rights Defender Day. A day to showcase stories and support women human rights defenders.
1 December– World AIDS Day. A day to raise awareness about gender-based violence against people living with HIV/AIDS.
3 December—International Day of Persons with Disabilities. A time to highlight concern for violence against women and girls who experience disabilities, and to demonstrate support for them.
10 December—Human Rights Day. A day to familiarize oneself with the human rights of women and girls and to advocate for protection of those rights.
(With information from UN Women)
Click the image below to view the calendar of prayer intentions: