UNiTE to End Violence against Women
The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign (UNiTE campaign), managed by UN Women, is a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls around the world. It calls on governments, civil society, women’s organisations, young people, the private sector, the media, and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls.
16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organising strategy by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
In support of this civil society initiative, under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, the UNiTE campaign calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanise advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations.
As the world retreated inside houses due to the lockdown measures introduced to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, reports from around the world showed an alarming increase in the already existing pandemic of violence against women.
“Accompanying the crisis has been a spike in domestic violence reporting, at exactly the time that services, including rule of law, health and shelters, are being diverted to address the pandemic,” said the UN Secretary-General’s report “Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19“.
In response, the UN System’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence activities will begin on 25 November under our 2020 global theme: “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”
You can make a difference during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and protracted state of crisis it has generated across the world, you can support women and girl survivors of violence to stay safe and free of violence. Take action during this year’s 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence. For more information about “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!” and action ideas, see this year’s concept note.
In 2019, the UNiTE campaign will mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, from 25 November to 10 December, under the theme, “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape!”
While the names, times and contexts may differ, women and girls universally experience rape, sexual violence, and abuse, in times of peace or war.
Rape is rooted in a complex set of patriarchal beliefs, power, and control that continue to create a social environment in which sexual violence is pervasive and normalized. Exact numbers of rape and sexual assaults are notoriously difficult to confirm due to frequent latitude and impunity for perpetrators, stigma towards survivors, and their subsequent silence.
In recent years, the voices of survivors and activists, through campaigns such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, #Niunamenos, #NotOneMore, #BalanceTonPorc, and others, have put the spotlight on the issue of sexual violence and have reached a crescendo that cannot be silenced or ignored anymore.
That is why, under the umbrella of UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign that marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the UNiTE Campaign is calling on people from all walks of life to learn more and take a stand against the pervasive rape culture that surrounds us.
From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.
For far too long, impunity, silence and stigma have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions—one in three women worldwide experience gender-based violence.
The time for change is here and now.
In recent years, the voices of survivors and activists, through campaigns such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, #Niunamenos, #NotOneMore, #BalanceTonPorc and others, have reached a crescendo that cannot be silenced any more. Advocates understand that while the names and contexts may differ across geographic locations, women and girls everywhere are experiencing extensive abuse and their stories need to be brought to light.
This is why the UNiTE Campaign’s global advocacy theme this year is: Orange the World: #HearMeToo
Under the theme Orange the World: #HearMeToo, the UNiTE partners are encouraged to host events with local, national, regional and global women’s movements, survivor advocates and women human rights defenders and create opportunities for dialogue between activists, policy-makers and the public. As in previous years, the colour orange will be a key theme unifying all activities, with buildings and landmarks lit and decorated in orange to bring global attention to the initiative.