International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence

UN House turns orange to support ending violence against women

• UN House lights up in orange to show support in ending violence against women • UN Women supports National Award-Winning Filmmaker, Vibha Bakshi’s upcoming film ‘Son Rise’ invoking men to stand up and pledge to build a safe society for women and children • St. Stephen’s College and other institutes join the movement

Date: Friday, November 23, 2018

New Delhi, India — As part of the global 16 Days of Activism campaign, the UN House in India turned orange on Friday, ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, marked annually on November 25.

UN House in India lights up in orange to support ending violence against women. Photo: UN Women/Arachika Kapoor
UN House in India lights up in orange to support ending violence against women. Photo: UN Women/Arachika Kapoor

The special event, under the theme “Orange The World: #HearMeToo”, was organised by UN Women, along with the UN in India, as part of the UN Secretary General’s UNiTE campaign that is set to continue till the International Day of Human Rights on December 10. Women and girls from all corners of the world continue to experience violence and abuse, and harassment against women is often overlooked, normalized, justified and made invisible.

Addressing the gathering, Yuri Afanasiev, the UN Resident Coordinator in India said, “Violence against women is one of history’s gravest and most widespread injustices, and nothing short of a global movement for transformation will challenge it. Women are one of the biggest stakeholders of the future, and our nations and societies must be built through their full and equal participation. The United Nations reaffirms our zero tolerance to any form of gender-based violence, and stands in solidarity with the voices of women and for gender equality everywhere.”

Nishtha Satyam, Deputy Representative of UN Women India said, that “The objective of the 16 Days campaign is to mobilise support amongst all our partners, and stand in solidarity with survivors, survivor advocates, women’s movements and women’s human rights defenders who are working to end violence against women and girls.”

“Many women are waiting for their concerns to be heeded to. Their voices must be heard too, and hence the theme #HearMeToo”, she said.

Indian playback singer, Neeti Mohan, who was present at the event said, “While we are struggling to find balance in the words the positive is that we have a uniting movement. The day the word 'Gender' does not exist is the day a gender-equal society would be in existence.”

During the dialogue on changing the narrative on gender equality and ending violence against women, National Award-winning filmmaker and producer, introduced teaser of documentary movie SON RISE, Vibha Bakshi award winning film maker for the documentary Daughters of Mother India, said, “The film aligns with the vision of UN Women towards safeguarding women and girls from violence. It is focused on the changing narrative which highlights that we must involve men and boys in building a safer society for women and girls. We must now put all efforts in making a society which has no place for gender inequality and violence.”

Ms. Bakshi’s soon-to-be-released documentary film “Son Rise” transcends art and is aimed at a movement where men take it on themselves to stand up against atrocities done on women and children and build a safe society. The film focusses on the lives of ordinary men taking extraordinary steps to support women and help them overcome the trauma of violence in their lives. Set in Haryana, the film is an appeal to end patriarchal mindsets by portraying real examples of men who have subverted age-old notions to ring in positive change in their families.

The movement is supported by UN Women as part of their global solidarity movement HeForShe, under which people of all gender stand in solidarity with women to create a bold, visible and united force for gender equality. The campaign aims to collect a million pledges.

St. Stephen’s College and other eminent schools and universities will mobilize the students’ communities and their alumni to make a commitment in building a society which has zero tolerance for harassments towards women and children.

About 16 Days of Activism: The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign which takes place each year. It commences on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was originated by activists at the first Women's Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and is coordinated each year by the Center for Women's Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. In support of this civil society initiative, under the leadership of the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign (UNiTE) calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanise advocacy efforts and share of knowledge and innovations.

In recent years, the UNiTE campaign has utilized the colour orange to represent a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls, as a unifying theme running through its global activities. This year’s theme is ‘Orange the World: #HearMeToo,’ and as in previous years, the color orange is used to draw global attention to the issue, while the hashtag is encouraged to amplify the message of survivors and activists and to put them at the centre of the conversation and response. The theme also aims to broaden the global conversation and highlight the voices and activism of all survivors of violence and advocates around the world – many of whom are often missing from the media headlines and social media discussions.

About UN Women: Women is the UN organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls worldwide.

Media contact:

Jeevan Kanakkassery
Communication Analyst, UN Women Multi-Country Office for
India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka
Email: jeevan.kanakkassery@unwomen.org | Tel: +91 (0)11 46532735