Secretary-General Ban, “Violence against women and girls harms our common humanity”
Proclaimed every 25th as “Orange Day” to raise awareness on violence against women
November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. More than 3 decades have passed since it was first designated in 1981, but still 1 in 3 women and girls experience violence in their lifetime. To mark the start of 16 days of action, the UN declared its strong will to eradication violence against women and girls.
“Violence against women and girls directly affects individuals while harming our common humanity,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day, and applauded leaders who are helping to enact and enforce laws and change mindsets and paid tribute to those heroes around the world who help victims to heal. He also stressed the importance of the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women as means to bring about change, and called for help, saying “While the demand for its grants has more than doubled in recent years, the amount it has been able to distribute has diminished by 60 percents”
UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said in a statement, “We need education in schools that teaches human rights and mutual respect, and that inspires young people to be leaders for equality.”
World Health Organization (WHO) recently published in a report that 1 in 3 women experience sexual or physical violence. Moreover, according to a report by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 630 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime. Up to 70% of women experience violence in their lifetime, between 500,000 to 2 million women are trafficked annually into situations including prostitution, and more than 130 million girls and women alive today have become victims of female genital mutilation.
UN declared the theme for 16 days of action to eliminate violence against women starting from November 25 to December 10, Human Rights Day, as “Orange the World.” Orange is the color for UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. In July last year, Secretary-General Ban proclaimed every 25th of the month as Orange Day, encouraging people to wear something orange in order to raise awareness and trigger action to end sexual violence.
On the 25th at the UN Headquarters, Italian actors performed “Wounded to Death” by an Italian journalist and actress, Serena Dandini. “Wounded to Death” is a performing arts project on femicide − whereby women are killed based on their gender − based on actual crime reports. Its debut performance was on November 24, 2012 at Palermo, Italy, and since then it has been staged in a number of cities throughout Italy, raising awareness on violence against women. To mark the 16 days of action on eradicating violence against women, the performance is going on a tour around the world. For more details on the campaign, visit ‘SayNo-UNiTE’ website (www.un.org/en/women/endviolence).