International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence
Orange the World: #HearMeToo
Date: Thursday, December 13, 2018
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 “Orange the World: #HearMeToo". Coming on the heels of global movements and grassroots campaigns such as ‘#MeToo’, "#มีอะไรจะบอก", "#ItHappenedToMeToo", “#TimesUp”, “#BalanceTonPorc” “#NiUnaMenos”, #MeTooIndia and “HollaBack!”, the 16 Days of Activism will be a rallying moment to bring together governments, communities, survivors, activists and the public through high-visibility events, using the signature colour orange.
As in previous years, iconic buildings and monuments will be ‘oranged’ to call for a violence-free future. In events around the world, including in billboards, online and offline community dialogues, cartoons at a refugee camp, flashmobs on streets, sports stadiums, art galleries, schools and universities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Fiji, Myanmar, Nepal, Vanuatu, Tonga, Thailand The Philippines, and rugby matches in Samoa, global citizens will stand in solidarity with survivors and advocates.
Highlights from events around Asia and Pacific:
Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia was illuminated in the colour orange to support the elimination of violence against women and to mark the #16days of Activism against gender based violence. See more
A cartoon exhibition, called Femitoons was held at the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh to raise awareness about gender-based violence. People who visited the exhibition could also buy products made by Rohingya refugees. At the same time, Rohingya men and boy refugees at Cox’s Bazar joined a silent march to end gender-based violence. See more
To understand the challenges faced by Pakistan and seek commitment to influence policies, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka met with parliamentarians from the Women's Parliamentary Caucus. She offered support to strengthen parliamentary gender equality mechanisms and co-convene dialogues, as well as for generating research and providing media and communications training. Read more
5-7 December: Executive Director concludes visit to Pakistan:
Commemorating this year’s #16Days of Activism, UN Women’s Executive Director visited Pakistan from 5–7 December. She met leaders from different sectors of society, such as politicians, the private sector and community leaders, and called for continuous efforts to make gender equality central to all their work on ending violence against women. Read more
In the light of this year’s theme for #16days: #HearMetoo, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, stressed the need to make academic institutions free of harassment during an engaging dialogue with students and faculty members of SZABIST, in Karachi, Pakistan. Read more
In her dialogue with CEOs of private companies today, the Executive Director stressed that corporate leaders need to be more proactive in embracing gender equality in their operations. Responding to her call, CEOs of 10 private companies from Karachi, Pakistan, pledged their commitment for action on gender equality. Read more
UN Women and the Markets for Change project partnered with Oxfam-Vanuatu in order to provide members of the Market Vendors Association with orange caps, aprons and t-shirts to wear over the course of the 16 Days of Activism in order to encourage dialogue on ending violence against women. Several speakers from Australian High Commission, New Zealand High Commission, Silae Vanua Market Vendor Association, Municipal Council of Vanuatu and the Department of Women’s Affairs also attended to speak out about the issue. Read more
UN Women Afghanistan partnered with ArtLords to create murals that would amplify the voices of women and girl survivors of violence to create a gender-equal Afghanistan.
Tonga was recognized as a new priority country for the Pacific Partnership to End Violence against Women and Girls. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, Acting Chief Executive Officer, ‘Onetoto ‘Anisi, provided the official welcome at the Tonga launch, and was joined by speakers from two coordinating partners in the regional programme; the Pacific Community (SPC) and UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO). The partnership brings together governments, civil society organizations, communities and other partners to promote gender equality, prevent violence against women and girls, and increase access to quality response services for survivors. Read more
On her first visit to Pakistan the Executive Director joined the call for an end to child marriage at #16Days event in Mithi, Tharparkar, and encouraged the community to voice their commitment to change the lives of girls and young women for the better. Read more
On 4 December, more than 70 women and men from the Southern Border Provinces of Thailand gathered to amplify their voices and reaffirm their commitment to end violence against women and girls at an event organized by UN Women in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and Women Civic Network for Peace. Read more
Survivors of violence from different backgrounds came together at Alliance Française Bangkok, Thailand to share their experiences of violence and strength. Over 200 people were in attendance, ranging from members of the diplomatic community to the media and creatives.Alongside the storytelling event was an exhibition of the images and stories from “ThaiConsent,” an online platform where readers can submit their stories of violence. The founder of “ThaiConsent,” Wipaphan Wongsawang, creates illustrations to accompany the stories. Read more
In Samoa, a national rugby competition was held for youth with 19 teams participating, nine of which were all-female. This years’ inaugural competition on the island of Savaii was coordinated by the Samoa Rugby Union and Oceania Rugby, with sponsorship from Tradepac Company Limited, Bluesky and support from UN Women as a gender equality partner. The hope is to create an “equal playing field” in the world of rugby, so that both men and women can participate in and enjoy the sport. Read more
The UN Women India Multi-Country Office organized a conference on the theme #HearMeToo, where survivors of violence shared their stories in New Delhi, India. A video entitled Lakeer, which shows the experiences of violence faced by many Indian women, was also launched. Read more
With the support of Twitter, the UN Women National Committee in Singapore held a panel to highlight the need for communities to act to support survivors of gender-based violence as well as to listen to the voices of survivors. Read more
A touching and inspiring song was created by Jobecca Watinga, a final year accounting student at the University of Papua New Guinea. The song reflects many young girls’ dreams to live free from violence on the island. Watinga hopes that through the song she can raise awareness on ending violence against women and girls and making communities safer. Read more
Cindy Bishop, creator of the #DontTellMeHowToDress exhibition visited the Philippines to learn more about their efforts to end violence against women and girls. She joined UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific Pia Wurtzbach and United Nations Resident Coordinator Ola Almgren, to call on the public to join #HearMeToo. Read more
In Thailand, a three-day workshop represented the initial step towards developing a campaign to end violence against women and trafficking in persons, to understand trends in trafficking in persons in ASEAN, and to learn about campaign planning essentials and communication for Development (C4D). Read more
UN Women India created a video to take you into the daily life of women in rural India who experience violence across spaces and across generations. Viewers are encouraged to #drawaline to end violence against women and girls once and for all. See more
UN Women and the UN Country Team in Cambodia stood in solidarity with survivors of gender-based violence and committed to ending violence in all its forms during the SDG Leadership Lab. All colleagues showed their support by wearing orange and writing commitments! See more
UN Women Asia and the Pacific Regional Director a.i., Anna Karin Jatfors, was hosted by the UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office at a lunch to thank the vendors of the Suva market who helped facilitate the visit of the Duchess of Sussex, Megan Markle, in October. Read more
More than 700 people, from ministries, development partners and youth groups joined UN Women and the National Commission for the Advancement of Women and Mother and Child (NCAWMC) to kick off the 16 Days of Activism at the National Cultural Hall in Laos. Read more
Through the Ministry of Women, Youth, Sport and Social Affairs, the Kiribati Government launched the Kiribati Standard Operating Procedures for Gender-Based Violence Response in partnership with the SafeNet network of government and non-government frontline service providers and UN Women. The document outlines a roadmap for government and non-government entities to work together to provide services for survivors. Read more
In recognition of the fact that one in three Indonesian women has experienced violence at least once in her lifetime, regardless of her level of education, social status or age, Indonesian influencers delivered a strong message to urge everyone to speak out, stand in solidarity with survivors and act to stop normalizing violence against women and girls. More videos
The UN Women Japan Liaison Office (JLO) partnered with UNFPA Tokyo to hold a film screening to kick off the 16 Days of Activism. Nearly 150 people were in attendance to watch “The Man Who Mends Women,” a documentary by Dr. Denis Mukwege, the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. A panel discussion followed with Kae Ishikawa (Director of UN Women JLO), Mariko Sato (Director of UNFPA Tokyo), Yumiko Udo (a well-known reporter), Daisuke Furuta (Launch Editor-in-Chief) and Satoshi Liyama (student activist). The attendees were encouraged to write down how they were going to help in the fight to end violence against women and girls. Read more
All seven Provincial Assembly buildings across Nepal were lit up in orange to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. Read more
UN Women Timor-Leste collaborated with the Embassy of Sweden and UNICEF in organizing the Swedish Dads photo exhibition in Timor-Leste from 24 to 30 November 2018, which explores how Swedish fathers and Timorese dads view the roles of the modern man, in contrast with the traditional, stereotypical view. UN Women Timor-Leste also organized a one-day workshop on “Good Parenting and Respectful Relationships” which was attended by 10 fathers who submitted photos, along with their partners. Read more
UN Women and the J. Walter Thompson creative agency joined hands to kick off the #HearMeToo campaign today in Thailand. The campaign aims to raise public awareness about violence against women, and to honour the work of fearless survivors of violence, activists and women’s rights advocates working to prevent and end violence against women. Media outlets and opinion leaders were also encouraged to ensure balanced coverage when discussing issues of violence against women.
The digital campaign consists of an interactive 360° immersive experience, in which users have to find a solution to end domestic violence. It also puts a spotlight on the brave women who endure violence and find the courage to speak up. Through powerful stories told by survivors of violence, visitors learn about different types of violence and about the actions each of us can take to help put an end to it. Leading Thai media outlets, celebrities and opinion leaders will continue to amplify the voices of fearless survivors, who have said “enough is enough”. To support the campaign visit: HearMeToo.or.th
In Thailand, over 3,000 runners joined the Khon Kaen Walk and Run. Organized by an alliance of 208 public and private entities in Khon Kaen province in Thailand, the run aimed to support the movement to create a world free of violence against women and girls.
The global event “Dance for Kindness” commemorated International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women with more than 5,000 dancers participating in an event near Hoan Kiem lake, in Hanoi, Viet Nam. A two-minute Freezemob paid tribute to victims and survivors of gender-based violence, and an impressive Flashmob welcomed World Kindness Week and the kick off of the 16 Days of Activism. At the same time, a photo exhibition showcasing photos and stories on ending violence to women and girls was opened to the public.
In Myanmar, UN Women and the Yangon City Development Committee commenced the 16 Days of Activism campaign by lighting Yangon City Hall, a central landmark, in orange to bring attention to the issue in Myanmar and globally.
On 24 November, UN Women and civil society organizations in Bangladesh came together at Shoparjito Shadhinota, Dhaka University Campus, Bangladesh, to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Twelve organizations including WE CAN, BNPS, Mahila Parishad, Indigenous Women’s Network, Concern Bangladesh, and Acid Survivors’ Foundation participated in various cultural activities, including street theatre skits, dance and musical performances under the theme of “#HearMeToo”. The ceremony was opened by Ayesha Khanom, one of the most prominent women’s rights activists in Bangladesh. There were also speeches from youth advocates, and a poem recited by a survivor of rape on her own struggle and triumph.
The iconic Colombo, Sri Lanka was lit up in orange to signal its support for the quest to end violence against women and girls.
Ten speakers, ranging from entertainers to researchers spoke up about their experiences in the fight for gender equality. More than 300 delegates and participants from nine embassies and partners were in attendance to kick-start the 16 Days of Activism in Viet Nam. Read more
An event entitled The E.Quality Talks, held at the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand, brought together survivors of violence from different backgrounds to tell their stories. The panel included Cindy Bishop, model, host and creator of the #DontTellMeHowToDress exhibition; Wipaphan Wongsawang, artist and founder of the ThaiConsent movement; lawyer Busayapa Srisompong, founder of SHero; LGBTIQ activist Chitsanupong Nithiwana; the young feminist artist Kamolros Wonguthum; and Watcharapon Kukaewkasem, a migrant women’s rights advocate and social worker.
The speakers bravely shared their experiences of violence with over 100 attendees, including representatives from a variety of UN agencies, the diplomatic community, Thai government officials, civil society organizations and the media. Read more
Representatives from the UN Women Bangladesh country office gathered for an interactive session to discuss how to put an end to the culture of gender-based violence. They then got their hands dirty creating handprints in clay, which is the symbol for the movement to put an end to violence against women and girls.
In India, the UN House was bathed in orange light to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
To kick off the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence in the region, prominent press outlets and national women’s machinery from Laos were supported by UN Women in order to receive training on gender responsive news reporting. The aim was to educate media about ethics when reporting news on violence against women and girls and about the ways in which gender shapes the distribution of power across all levels of society.