On International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, let's orange the world
Violence against women remains a human rights violation rife in all parts of the world. This reality of violence led the United Nations to designate November 25 as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women — the theme of which, this year, is “leave no one behind.”
The gendered violence that persists today can take many forms. A major one is physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner. In fact, the U.N. Secretary-General’s latest report on the Sustainable Development Goals found that 19 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 from 87 countries said to have experienced this type of violence in the last 12 months. Another extreme form of violence committed against women and girls is female genital mutilation and cutting. Though this practice has declined by 24 percent since 2000, recent survey data from 2015 indicates that, in some 30 countries, more than one in three girls between the ages of 15 and 19 have undergone the procedure. And while these are extreme examples of violence against women from around the world, there are even more shocking statistics that are being recorded right on my very own doorstep: in the U.K., one women in four experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Not only this, but in England and Wales, two women are killed each week by a current or former partner.
There are a number of challenges when it comes to combating this violence, from the fact that many disputes are happening covertly to the lack of knowledge on the matter among the general public, but one major challenge is a funding shortage. Agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals offer reasonable and promising approaches and potential solutions to this disconcerting issue, but without adequate funding, they are unlikely to be implemented.
To raise money for the cause, UNiTE, an initiative originally created by the then U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon to end violence against women, is leading a 16-day campaign called the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which aims to raise public awareness about gender-based violence in order to bring about substantial change. From November 25 to December 10, UNiTE wants to invite people to “orange the world” — they have designated orange as a symbol of a brighter future without violence. They are encouraging individuals to organize events in their streets, schools, and community landmarks by using the color orange in all its forms: through clothing and props, and even so far as the lighting theme at the events. At last year’s events, countries from Uganda to Uruguay lit up the streets with orange.
To make violence against women and girls obsolete, we must spread awareness about campaigns that offer both physical and financial support to achieving this end — campaigns like the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Getting involved wherever and however you can is always a valuable way to help the cause.
More articles by Category: Violence against women
More articles by Tag: Domestic violence, Sexualized violence, United Nations