UN Women and its global partners have organised a range of public events, as part of the campaign UniTE to End Violence against Women by 2030, which are taking place November 25 to December 10, 2017
UN Women and its global partners have organised a range of public events, as part of the campaign UniTE to End Violence against Women by 2030, which are taking place November 25 to December 10, 2017.
Marches, exhibits, sporting events and concerts will take place in the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, under the banner `Orange the World, Leave No One Behind’.
Parliamentary buildings and iconic landmarks will be lit up in the colour orange to symbolise the call for a violence-free future, including the Bangladeshi parliament building and Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.
International Day to End Violence against Women on November 25, 2017 marked the start of activities and was observed by an official commemoration ceremony in New York.
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, spoke at the commemoration, unveiling the theme `Leave No One Behind’ and emphasising the campaign’s end date, 2030.
She stressed the importance of paying particular attention to the invisible victims and survivors of violence, such as those trafficked as sex slaves, forced into (child) marriage, cut in FGM ceremonies, abused by partners or relatives at home, sexually harassed or assaulted, bullied for their gender, sexual orientation, race, class, or any other reason, and those silenced whilst defending women’s human rights.
Mlambo-Ngcuka also noted the momentum created by the #MeToo movement, which has exposed men in positions of authority who become serial perpetrators of abuse of power.
She pointed out that the current culture of entitlement, with a lack of consequence for crimes, must be changed and sanctions and accountability would be critical in a societal change for the future.
The Spotlight Initiative, supported by the European Union in partnership with the UN, was given as an example of how to bring about this change and how global partnerships with member states and civil society can intensify action to break the cycle of violence.
It builds on the international reach of the UN Trust Fund, which has financially supported civil society initiatives since its induction in 1997.
The Under-Secretary-General said: “When we talk about leaving no one behind we want to identify all these different forms of violence that women experience.
“This violence takes place hidden, but in plain sight, normalized so it is hardly noticeable.
“We stand with women who are finding their voice and summoning their courage to expose powerful men who prey on the less powerful.
“This is what we want to fight for everywhere: for every woman, for every girl and for every boy.
“We must shine today with the colour orange, which is symbolic, and which illuminates the bright future that we wish for every girl and every woman; a life that is free of violence.”
Read More: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women discusses the critical issue of gender equality and women’s rights, reflecting on progress so far and looking ahead at the challenges that remain