Leave No One Behind - End Violence against Women and Girls | 2017

Ho Chi Minh city joins UN Women #orangetheworld by lighting up its People’s Committee building in orange to show commitment to build #safecity for women and girls and SayNO - UNiTE to End Violence Against Women. Photo: UN Women/Nguyen Hoang Gia

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A life without the threat of violence for everyone: leave no one behind

In a message for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says, “Violence against women and girls is not inevitable. There are many ways to prevent violence in the first place and to stop cycles of violence repeating… At the heart of today’s theme of ‘leaving no one behind’, is leaving no one out.”Read the full message

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, a global campaign spanning from 25 November through 10 December, is taking place this year against the backdrop of an unprecedented global outcry. Millions have rallied behind the hashtag #MeToo and other campaigns, exposing the sheer magnitude of sexual harassment and other forms of violence that women everywhere suffer, every day. Breaking the silence is the first step to transforming the culture of gender-based violence.

At the heart of this year’s theme, “Leave No One Behind – End Violence against Women”, for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November) and UNiTE Campaign’s observance of the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women (25 November – 10 December), is the imperative to support those who are particularly vulnerable. The UNiTE Campaign is calling on everyone to join the movement to end violence against women, using the colour orange to make your action visible. Find out how you can take action

One in three women and girls experience violence in their lifetime—that is one too many. It happens in every country and every society. It happens at home, in schools, on the streets, at work, on the internet and in refugee camps. It happens during war, and even in the absence of war. Too often, it is normalized and goes unpunished.

No matter where violence against women happens, what form it takes, and whom it impacts, it must be stopped. The promise of the Sustainable Development Goals—to leave no one behind—cannot be fulfilled without ending violence against women.

Interactive – Explore the facts: Violence against women

Violence against women: Facts everyone should know

Interactive – Explore the facts: Violence against women Violence against women and girls manifests itself in many different forms. Whether at home, on the streets or during war, it is a human rights violation of pandemic proportions that takes place in public and private spaces. Explore the issue



Orange the World in Asia-Pacific

Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, Viet Nam

Viet Nam launched its National Action Month on Gender Equality and Prevention of Gender-based Violence at Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street... Read more


Punjab Assembly's Building, Pakistan

To kick off the 16 Days of Activism, the Punjab Assembly's Building was illuminated in orange to show solidarity with 16 Days... Read more


The United Nations Building in Beijing

The United Nations Building in Beijing was lit in orange in the evening marking the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism in China... Read more


Ministry of Women Affairs, Afghanistan

Government, civil society activists and representatives from international community gathered to celebrate the launch of International Day to end violence...Read more


Gathering to mark the 16 Days Campaign, Southern Border Provinces, Thailand

Women, men and children at the event, close to 100 advocates called for action to make public spaces safe for women and children... Read more


Women's Safety Audit Walk Commences 16 Days in Dili Timor-Leste

During the Safety Audit Walk, participants completed a 'scorecard' to rate the safety of various public spaces in Comoro, Dili... Read more



Asia-Pacific Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

The talk-show style panel discussion on promising practices and results from the Partners for Prevention programme in the Asia-Pacific region organized by the United Nations of Regional Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, co-chaired by the United Nations Economics and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and UN Women. It is supported by the UN Joint Programme, Partners for Prevention, the Australian Government and Chulalongkorn University... Read more


Film Screening and Discussion:
Of Women and Men

The Embassy of France and UN Women Indonesia jointly invite to a film screening and an ensuing discussion about ending violence against women as well as challenges to achieving gender equality. The film "des femmes et des hommes" or "of Women and Men" investigates today’s situation of women and girls, featuring them in political and economic contexts and brings together a collection of key testimonies. It underscores the importance... Read more


Multi-Country Study Launch: The Trial of Rape

As a part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign (25 November - 10 December), UN Women, UNDP, UNODC will release a study identifying the key factors that hinder women from achieving justice in Thailand and Viet Nam. The study is the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region which provides important new insights into where and why attrition occurs in the administration of justice for women survivors of sexual violence and how it can be reduced. It also provides constructive recommendations to address the challenges in criminal justice... Read more


ASEAN HeForShe Launch

UN Women partnership with ASEAN Secretariat will launch the ASEAN HeForShe in Jakarta, Indonesia, as a part of the Regional Commemoration of the International Day to End Violence against Women and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence against Women. ASEAN is committed to strengthen its support to gender equality, the ASEAN HeForShe will gather male leaders, gender equality advocates, civil society organizations, and youth to participate in a discussion and to stand together in becoming change agents for the achievement of gender equality.


Top Stories in Asia-Pacific

In the words of Johanna Tantria T. Wardham: “Gender inequality starts from the household”

Passionate and fiery Johanna Tantria T. Wardham, is known universally as Jo. A popular figure in the urban slums of Jakarta, she can often be spotted in Prumpung and other neighborhoods, on the outskirts of Indonesia’s bustling capital city. Her mission in life is to build a culture of gender equality, from the ground up. She leads community discussions, trainings on preventing violence against women and girls, and conducts gender audits... Read more


Creating a new normal, students across Bangladesh say no more sexual harassment

Until recently, Miah used to be a silent bystander, like many others when other men sexually harassed women. Since participating in the “Building Capacity to Prevent Violence Against Women Project” implemented by UN Women and Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA), things are changing and Miah fully understands the serious ramifications of sexual harassment and is ready to tackle it head on... Read more


In the words of Nongnee Kondii: “I was told that being a lesbian woman is a sin”

I fell in love with a girl when I was in 10th grade. It felt right, and we were in a relationship for seven years. When my mother caught us, she separated us. I was sent off to live in my grandfather’s farm house, far from everyone. I was 17 at the time. I was told that being a lesbian woman is a sin. People in my village gossiped and called me a sinner, a deviant, and a traitor to my religion. It wasn’t until I went to college that I could express myself as a lesbian woman again... Read more


India's Smart Cities Mission

Women and girls are subjected to various types of sexual violence – from sexual harassment (physical, visual and verbal) to sexual assault, whether on city streets, in public transport or their own neighbourhoods. Such daily occurrences of violence limits their rights and freedoms as equal citizens to enjoy their neighbourhoods and cities, and to exercise rights to mobility, education, work, recreation. A UN Women research in 2012 of the Delhi Safe City programme showed that 95 per cent women and girls had experienced sexual harassment in public spaces... Read more


TAKE FIVE - Loukinikini Vili

I believe the Inquiry will foster a national conversation on family violence, to reveal the full dimensions of our family violence problem. Understanding the true scale, nature and the attitudes we espouse on family violence should better enable us to decide as a community how best to bring about a different Samoa with regard to family violence. The ultimate solutions will need to be formulated with communal understanding and consensus but the fundamental GOAL before us is: To do what is best for the women, young girls and children of Samoa... Read more


EU, ILO and UN Women join forces to realize women migrant workers' rights and opportunities in the ASEAN region

The programme was launched at an event co-organized by the EU, ILO and UN Women to introduce the new EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, to eliminate violence against women and girls, and also the Initiative's first programme, "Safe and Fair: Realizing women migrant workers' rights and opportunities in the ASEAN region". Funded by the EU, with a budget of EUR 25 million, the programme will be implemented through a UN Women and ILO partnership. The programme will run for five years, starting 2018, and focus on ASEAN countries. In his address to government representatives, trade unions and NGOs working on migrant rights and violence against women, students... Read more


Stories Around the World

Ending violence against women and girls is possible. There are proven solutions for supporting and empowering survivors to stop the reoccurrence of this violence. Laws and policies are powerful tools to punish perpetrators, provide justice and services, and end impunity. There are many ways that we can resist and prevent violent norms, attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate violence against women, and everyone has a role in it.

While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable—for instance, young girls and older women, women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, migrants and refugees, indigenous women and ethnic minorities, or women and girls living with HIV and disabilities, and those in humanitarian crises. See our top stories from around the world that show what it means to leave no one behind, and what people are doing to stop the cycle of violence against women.



Violence against women is not inevitable. There are many ways to prevent it from happening. Everyone has a role to play, and prevention must start early.



Empower women and girls, support survivors through adequate services so that they can rebuild their lives and stop violence from reoccurring.



Survivors around the world are speaking out, turning their lives around, holding perpetrators accountable, and inspiring others.



Transform the culture by enforcing laws that protect women’s rights and changing the attitudes that condone violence against women.


Speaking up: Faten and Ayah discuss partner violence and divorce

When Faten* sought to escape years of abuse and divorce her husband, he refused and left her destitute. Faten sought the help of Ayah, a lawyer at the UN Women-supported Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR). In their conversation, Faten looks back at the time Ayah stepped in to ensure she was not left behind. * Name changed to protect the identity of the survivor.

Speaking Up is an audio series dedicated to documenting the voices of women worldwide. Our hope is to give women the opportunity to make meaning of their experiences through the stories they share.


Justice now: an interactive experience

This interactive infostory explores the various paths to justice for sexual and gender-based violence crimes. See more

Video: A fact you should know...

One in three women and girls will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes.


Quiz: Violence against women


Credits: UN Photo/Christopher Herwig (cover image), Gage Skidmore (Patrick Stewart); UN Photo/Rick Bajornas (Idris Elba); UN Photo/Mark Garten (George Clooney). Last updated: November 2017

Join the conversation

  • Join the conversation and Orange the World in 16 Days on social media! Hashtags: #orangetheworld and #16days
  • Join the ‘Orange the World’ Event page on Facebook and post photos and actions happening in your country during the 16 Days of Activism.
  • Orange your Facebook wall, Instagram and Twitter accounts with a variety of images, banners and promotional material. A social media package with sample messages in English, Spanish and French is available here.

Facebook Live camera effect

In line with the global theme “Leave no one behind”, we call on you to share your own story on how you have taken action, and what needs to be done to end violence against women and girls. In your Facebook mobile app, go to Live, click on the frame icon at the bottom, and select our camera effect. Go Live and speak out!

Facebook frame

Use our Facebook frame to orange your profile picture on Facebook!

Twitter Twibbon

Orange your profile picture on Twitter to show your support!


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