Papua New Guinea Stands United Behind the Orange Day


Papua New Guineans – near and far – donned orange on Friday to demonstrate support for safe public spaces and the elimination of violence for the global United Nations campaign ‘Orange Day’.

World Vision Papua New Guinea – Port Moresby office. Photo credit: Errol Fontanellez

Supported by UN Women in PNG, the campaign – UNiTE to End Violence against Women – invited everyone to wear orange in support of the Safe Public Spaces for Women and Girls’ Day. Dozens of Papua New Guineans took part in Orange Day, including journalist Kenya Kala of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Papua New Guinea service’s Tok Pisin programme in Melbourne, Australia, together with international ABC news broadcasters.

“The tremendous display on Orange Day demonstrates immense support of women’s and girls’ rights to enjoy safe public spaces free from violence,” said Jeffrey Buchanan, UN Women Country Representative.

Through Orange Day, which is celebrated on the 25th day of each month, the UNiTE campaign seeks to raise public awareness and increase political will and resources for preventing and ending all forms of violence against women and girls throughout the world. 

Advocating for ‘safe public spaces for women and girls’, the UNiTE campaign brought focus to a goal that the UN Women PNG Safe Cities Programme, in particular, has been working steadily towards achieving for almost three years.

“UN Women’s Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls Programme focuses on increasing the safety of women and girls to enjoy their rights to public places and the city, and making markets safer for all who use them,” said Mr. Buchanan.

“Women and girls in Papua New Guinea, and everywhere else in the world, have the right to be safe in public spaces.”

Next month, November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a day commemorating one of the most widespread violations of human rights throughout the world. This day, also known as White Ribbon Day, is part of Papua New Guinea’s 20 Days of Activism against Gender Violence campaign, which begins on November 20 – Universal Children’s Day.

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Under the heading ‘Safe Spaces for Women and Girls’, this year the UNiTE campaign is focusing its Orange Day activities on highlighting recommendations of the agreed conclusions of the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57) which took place in March this year.

In April, UNiTE focused on ‘Safe Work Places for Women and Girls’, in May, ‘Safe Homes for Women and Girls’ while in June, Orange Day coincided with the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (June 26th) and the campaign focused on ‘State Custody and Care as Safe Spaces’. In July it drew attention to ‘Cyber Space as Safe Space for Women and Girls’ while the theme for August was Sexual Violence against Women and Girls in Conflict’. Ahead of the International Day of the Girl Child, October 11th, the theme for Orange Day in September was ‘Safe Schools for Girls’ and on October 25 the UNiTE campaign will highlight ‘Safe Public Spaces for Women and Girls’.

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More photos:

ABC Radio Australia’s PNG service’s Tok Pisin presenter, Ms Kenya Kala (centre) with colleagues Ahimsa Kibikiki (left) and Vymala Yim (right) in Melbourne, Australia. Photo credit: Seda Douglas / Kenya Kala.

Marie Stopes – Papua New Guinea.
Marie Stopes – Papua New Guinea.  Photo credit: Audrey Seegar.

Skylight Limited.
Skylight Limited.  Photo credit: Fermi Wu.