Orange the World, Leave No One Behind

Date: Monday, December 4, 2017

This year, UN Women and partners around the world are marking the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (25 November – 10 December) under the theme of “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls”. A host of public events—from marches, exhibits and concerts to sporting events—are being organized under the banner of the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women by 2030, using the signature colour orange. As in previous years, iconic buildings and monuments will be ‘oranged’ to call for a violence-free future, including the parliaments in Bangladesh, Liberia, and Morocco, Rio’s iconic Corcovado, the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, Mexico, La Scala theatre in Milan, the City Hall in Bogota, the National Theatre of Algiers, and Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

In Asia-Pacific

25 November

UN Women collaborated with local police in Japan, who distributed information flyers and other materials, together with their mascot, “Pipo¬kun”. Photo: Courtesy of Bunkyo City, Japan

In Japan, from 25 November to 10 December, the City Hall of Bunkyo-city is lit up in orange to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the 16 Days of Activism. Local universities, women's organizations and police in Bunkyo-City joined the Orange the World campaign to raise awareness. HeForShe IMPACT University, Nagoya University, convened young activists to address the issue of gender-based violence on campus and held inaugural Global Ideathons. UN Women also collaborated with local police in Japan, who distributed information flyers and other materials, together with their mascot, “Pipo­kun”.

Photo: UN Women/Doris Puiahi

Women across the Solomon Islands are raising their voices against gender-based violence during the 16 Days of Activism. UN Women is supporting the Ministry of Women, Youths, Children and Family Affairs' nationwide live radio broadcast on via the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation for the launch of 16 Days of Activism.

Samoa’s annual Fun Run to End Violence Against Women and Girls embraced UN Women’s commitment to ‘leave no one behind’. Photo: UN Women/Papali’i Mele Maualaivao

In Samoa, on 25 November, the Samoa Rugby Union, with support from Bluesky, Oceania Rugby and UN Women, organized a Rugby Sevens Tournament to mark the 16 Days of Activism. “We must all work together to end violence against women and girls,” said UN Women Country Programme Coordinator Papali’i Mele Maualaivao, “because everyone has the right to live their life without the threat of violence. The Sevens Tournament is a perfect platform to speak out against violence against women and girls, given rugby’s popularity in Samoa and across the Pacific region.” Samoa’s annual Fun Run to End Violence Against Women and Girls also embraced UN Women’s commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ in its efforts to eliminate violence. All ages, fitness, and mobility levels participated in the run, with the opportunity to walk, run, and wheel the course around Lalomanu. Samoa’s Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, UN Women, the Australian Government, and Samoa’s Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee (SASNOC) partnered for the event that also welcomed the Queen’s Baton Relay in the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

UN Women is supporting the Vanuatu Government and its partners to spread the message to end violence against women and girls, joining a coalition to “Stanap strong akensem vaelens” (stand up against violence). Photo: UN Women/Trisha Toangwera and Betty Zinner-Toa

In Vanuatu, ending violence against women and girls was centre court at the Shefna/Port Vila Challenge Netball Tournament. The annual event, that brings together the top four teams from the Shefa Netball Association and Port Vila Netball Association, highlighted the 16 Days of Activism campaign. UN Women was proud to work together with partners supporting the event, including Merilyn Tahi from Vanuatu Women’s Centre. “Violence against women is gender inequality at its most extreme and through sport, we can equal the playing field between women and men, and girls and boys,” said UN Women Country Programme Coordinator Betty Zinner-Toa. UN Women is also supporting the Vanuatu Government and its partners to spread the message to end violence against women and girls, joining a coalition of Vanuatu’s NGOs and INGOs, the Australian High Commission and New Zealand Defence Force, to launch the 16 Days of Activism campagin to “Stanap strong akensem vaelens” (stand up against violence) on 25 November.

Young people participate in Fiji’s Basketball tournament. Photo: UN Women/Caitlin Clifford

In Fiji, on the eve of 16 Days of Activism, UN Women Pacific shared insights with the European Union in the Pacific and EU Heads of Mission about Pacific-specific strategies to end violence against women and girls, reinforcing a mutual commitment to work together to stop violence in its diverse forms. Complementing the efforts to end violence against women and girls through sport in Samoa and Vanuatu, UN Women joined the Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation at Basketball Fiji’s Open Age 3X3 Tournament on 25 November to share insights about the critical need to end violence against women and girls.

The walk was attended by village leaders, NGO representatives and other community members. Photo: UN Women/Tanushree Rao

Recognizing that for cities to be safe, authorities need to consider the distinct experiences of the diverse women and girls who live in them, NGOs and community members, with support from UN Women, organized Timor-Leste's 2017 Safety Audit as part of the annual 16 Days of Activism Campaign against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

In Thailand, women, men and children from the Southern Border Provinces participated in an event to mark the 16 Days Campaign Photos: UN Women/PAOW

In Thailand, women, men and children from the Southern Border Provinces participated in an event organized by UN Women’s partner, Peace Agenda of Women in Pattani province. At the event, close to 100 advocates called for action to make public spaces safe for women and children..

HE Chief Executive delivers speech during 16 Days of Activism kickoff event at the Ministry of Women Affairs conference hall. Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai

Government, civil society activists and representatives from international community gathered at the Ministry of Women Affairs to celebrate the launch of International Day to end violence, as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Afghanistan.

24 November

In Bangladesh, the 16 Days of Activism launched at an event in Rabindra Sarobar, Dhaka, on 24 November. Photo credit: UN Women/Saikat Majumdar
Photo credit: UN Women/Saikat Majumdar

In Bangladesh, the 16 Days of Activism launched at an event in Rabindra Sarobar, Dhaka, on 24 November. UN Women, along with 20 other organizations including Nari Pokhyo, Mahila Parishad and Oxfam participated in various cultural activities, including poetry recitation, dance and musical performances under the theme of "Leave no one behind" Speaking at the event, UN Women Country Representative, Shoko Ishikawa called for decisive actions to prevent and respond to violence against women and children, including through laws.

The United Nations Building in Beijing was lit in orange in the evening marking the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism in China. Photos: UN Women China

UN Women China in partnership with Beijing Normal University and Beijing Royal School, UN Women has launched national 2017 #OrangetheWorld# 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign (16 days campaign) at the Beijing Royal School on the eve of the 25 November International Day to End Violence against Women. At the event, four peer educators from Beijing Royal School with outstanding youth leadership and a Beijing Normal University resident social worker in the school introduced the project's achievements. A talent show with the theme of combating gender-based violence was organized by 200 young peer educators, including drama performances, choir performances and 'orange-public speaking'.

"The 16 days campaign and #OrangetheWorld# campaign come at a pivotal time in society, during which gender based violence is being brought into the spotlight", said Mr. Rosellini, United Nations Resident Coordinator in China. Read more

The Punjab Assembly's Building was illuminated in orange. Photo: UN Women

In Pakistan, to kick off the 16 Days of Activism, the Punjab Assembly's Building was illuminated in orange to show solidarity with the campaign. Leading up to the 16 Days, UN Women also collaborated with the Swedish Embassy and the European Union to present SEVEN, a play based on the real-life stories of seven women’s rights activists from Nigeria, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Russia, Pakistan, Northern Ireland and Cambodia. The play was presented as a reading in Islamabad on 20 November, and will also be presented in Lahore later this week. The play was created by seven playwrights in collaboration with Vital Voices Global Partnership and has been performed in 23 countries since the project started in 2009. Each time, the readings are performed by seven individuals representing different segments of the society, for instance, journalists, activists, politicians and survivors.

4 November

The Ho Chi Minh city People's Committee Building. Photo: UN Women/Nguyen Hoang Gia
The Ho Chi Minh city People's Committee Building. Photo: UN Women/Nguyen Hoang Gia

Viet Nam launched its National Action Month on Gender Equality and Prevention of Gender-based Violence at Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street, Ho Chi Minh city, on 4 November. For the first time, the Ho Chi Minh city People's Committee Building was lit in orange, demonstrating the city's commitment to ending gender-based violence. A series of exciting activities took place, including the “HeForShe Men Who Care and Share” contest; a painting competition on Safe City for children and an art exhibit to promote gender equality.