Violence against women and girls remains an enormous problem. To raise awareness of this important issue, UN Women has kicked off 16 days of global activism, starting on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and lasting until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
A Eurobarometer on gender-based violence showed that 96% of Europeans think violence against women is unacceptable. Yet women and girls inside and outside the EU continue to experience widespread violence.
In an EU-wide survey1, results showed that one in three women in the EU have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15, while one in ten women have experienced sexual harassment or stalking through new technologies.
"Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation, public health pandemic and serious obstacle to sustainable development. It imposes large-scale costs on families, communities and economies. The world cannot afford to pay this price.” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his yearly message for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development made gender equality and the empowerment of women a key part of the global development agenda, with SDG5 calling for the complete elimination of all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking, sexual and other types of exploitation.
While this is a huge step, there is still a substantial lack of funding to translate these efforts into initiatives that will bring real change to women and girl’s rights. The European Institute for Gender Equality calculated that violence against women costs the EU about 226 billion euro a year. This makes financing efforts to prevent and address violence against women not only a legal and moral obligation, but also a sound investment.
That is why this year, the theme of the Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women is ‘Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence against Women and Girls’, highlighting the need for sustainable financing for efforts to end violence against women and girls towards the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
By coloring the world in orange – the color orange symbolizing a bright and optimistic future free from violence – the campaign wants to raise awareness and mobilize action for this important issue. Together with several other landmark buildings around the world, the European Parliament, UN building and Manneken Pis in Brussels were lit in orange in support of this campaign.
Join our campaign and share your photos, messages, and videos showing how you orange the world using #orangetheworld!
1“Violence against women: An EU-wide Survey. Main Results Report” (2014) by European Agency for Fundamental Rights
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