Monday, 20 November 2017

UN in your language

The Colour Orange for Gender Equality

Orange Day

27-10-2015 – On Sunday 25th October, the United Nations 70th birthday was celebrated in the heart of Europe on the Grand Place in Brussels.

At the Human Rights tent we caught up with the Director of UN Women Brussels, Dagmar Schumacher, who was present to inform the public about the work of UN Women and to raise awareness of the importance of “Orange Day.” The colour orange was chosen for its dynamism and vibrancy. It is also considered an optimistic symbol for a future without violence for girls and women worldwide.

Grand Place

As Orange Day falls on the 25th day of each month, the date of our UN Day celebration coincided with it this year. Therefore, visitors learned not only about the UN and its activities, but were also informed about the importance of the UNiTE campaign to end violence against women.

“As we know, violence against women is still a pandemic: 1/3 woman or girl experiences violence in their lifetime. We need to do something against that and to mobilize governments, to mobilize the UN and to mobilize citizens” says Schumacher. While presenting the artwork of a competition about gender equality for young artists, she adds “it is really very telling because it not only shows the inequality that women and girls are still facing inequality but also depicts a comic that shows a man who would like to change the diaper of his baby but the diaper changing room is for women only.”

Meanwhile, according to a survey report (2014) of 42,000 women of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, in Europe:

  • 1/10 women have experienced a form of sexual violence while 1/20 has been raped
  • European Sourcebook data show considerable differences between EU  Member States
  • Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands are experiencing the highest rates of violence against women. This is partly because women under-report a broad range of incidents, and also because many criminal justice systems have difficulty in bringing offenders to account and accurately serving the needs and rights of victims
  • Only 14 % of women reported their most serious incident of intimate partner violence to the police, and 13 % reported their most serious incident of non-partner violence to the police.

Unfortunately, available statistics only show a partial picture of the true extent of violence against women. This is why the UNiTE campaign and the recurring Orange Days aim to raise awareness and encourage governments and citizens to take action to end violence against women. 

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UNRIC’s Related Links:

•   Take action to Orange your day
•   UNiTE Campaign
•   Violence against women: an EU-wide survey. Main results report

Photo Credits:

•   Cover - Photo: UN Women Laos / Daniel Hodgson
•   Second – Photo:  UNRIC / Michael Durickas

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