16 Days to “Orange the World” – UNiTE to End Violence against Women

Human Wrongs Watch

24 November 2015 (UN Women)* – This year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November and the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign’s 16 days call for action are focused on strategies to prevent violence against women and girls.
places around the world lit orange.

Source: UN Women

The Issue

A staggering one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime—a pandemic of global proportions.

Unlike an illness, however, perpetrators and even entire societies choose to commit violence—and can choose to stop.

Violence is not inevitable. It can be prevented.

But it’s not as straightforward as eradicating a virus. There is no vaccine, medication or cure. And there is no one single reason for why it happens.

As such, prevention strategies should be holistic, with multiple interventions undertaken in parallel in order to have long-lasting and permanent effects.

View full infographic

Source: UN Women


Many sectors, actors and stakeholders need to be engaged.

More evidence is emerging on what interventions work to prevent violence—from community mobilization to change social norms, to comprehensive school interventions targeting staff and pupils, to economic empowerment and income supplements coupled with gender equality training.

Prevention is the 2015 theme of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November and of the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign’s 16 days call for action.

This year, at the official commemoration at UN Headquarters in New York, the first UN Framework on Preventing Violence against Women will be launched and discussed (ECOSOC Chamber; 10 a.m.–12 noon).

This document stems from the collaboration of seven UN entities: UN Women, ILO, OHCHR, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA and WHO.

The framework develops a common understanding for the UN System, policymakers and other stakeholders on preventing violence against women and provides a theory of change to underpin action.

16 days to “Orange the world”


Orange the world

Enter a caption Source: UN Women

From 25 November through 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence aim to raise public awareness and mobilizing people everywhere to bring about change.

This year, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign invites you to “Orange the world,” using the colour designated by the UNiTE campaign to symbolize a brighter future without violence.

Organize events to orange streets, schools and landmarks! Read our Toolkit ; See our poster.

Events this year have already included: a benefit concert for the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women set against an orange stage at Carnegie Hall in New York, and the lighting of the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.

Orange events are planned in more than 70 countries around the world ahead of and throughout the 16 days.

They will include the orange lighting of major landmarks like Niagara Falls (Canada/USA), the European Commission building (Belgium) and the Council of Europe building (France), the archeological ruins at Petra (Jordan), the Presidential Palace in Brasilia (Brazil), and the Palais de Justice (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Other events planned range from the ‘oranging’ of bus stops in Timor-Leste, to marathons in Venezuela, to spontaneous orange flash mobs in Indonesia. Read more »

Snapshots of orange events in 2015



Snapshots of orange events in 2014

Read more »

Speeches and statements

Executive Director’s statement

In her statement to mark this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says “if we all work together: governments, civil society organizations, the UN system, businesses, schools, and individuals mobilizing through new solidarity movements, we will eventually achieve a more equal world—a Planet 50-50—where women and girls can and will live free from violence”. Read her statement »
[Also available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish]

News and coverage



Human impact stories

Ending violence against women is one of the key priorities of multiple UN Women programmes and advocacy around policy change.

UN Women also manages the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE campaign on behalf of the UN system, as well as the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, supports widespread social mobilization through its Say NO – UNiTE social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter, and has co-developed a non-formal curriculum on preventing violence, aimed for girls ages 5 through 25. These human impact stories provide a snapshot of our work:

Hanine, Naouel and Rihab, National Trainers from the Tunisian Girl Guides, and participants of the Voices against Violence training workshop, will be working with UN Women in Tunisia to translate the curriculum into Arabic and to engage young people on the issue, so that girls don’t grow up believing violence is the norm. Photo: UN Women/Urjasi Rudra

Through education, youth act to prevent violence against women
After taking part in the third of a series of training-of-trainers workshops, 45 youth leaders from the girl guiding movement prepare to lead prevention activities back home.

Girls kick violence with Grassroot Soccer
At a Primary School in Khayelitsha, South Africa, a male-founded sports-based programme fosters girls’ empowerment and addresses violence against women.

Sabitri Lamichanne, a case worker, at the multipurpose women's centre in Panchkhal on July 1,2015.

Reaching out to survivors of violence in post-earthquake Nepal
With counsellors dealing with rising cases of domestic and sexual violence, UN Women, the Government of Nepal, and partners have set up a multipurpose women’s centre to address trauma and provide psychosocial support.

President Roussef sanctions law

In Brazil, new law on femicide to offer greater protection
Coinciding with the new law, Brazil is the first pilot country adapting the Latin American Model Protocol for the Investigation of Gender-related Violent Deaths, promoted by UN Women and OHCHR

Artist Alketa Xhafa-Mripa chose skirts and dresses to represent survivors and bring discussions of conflict-related sexual violence to the public's attention.

Dressing up a soccer stadium for survivors in Kosovo
As the country moves to break the silence around conflict-related sexual violence, a public art installation aims to raise awareness and combat stigma for survivors.

New draft law to combat human trafficking brings hope in Morocco
Experts believe adopting the new anti-trafficking law will make it easier for authorities to investigate and prosecute this widespread crime.

Malawi Chief annuls 330 child marriages
In a country where half of girls are married before age 18, UN Women played a key role in lobbying for a new law that raises the legal age to wed, while raising awareness and working with traditional leaders to annul marriages.

Female peacekeepers take the helm, to end gender-based violence
A training course piloted in India aims to equip female military officers in peacekeeping missions to tackle sexual and gender-based violence.

Girl Guides from Grenada.

“Education is power” – Girl Guide teacher/trainer
A teacher and Girl Guide Leader from Grenada speaks about the importance of non-traditional education and how she will use the “Voices against Violence” curriculum co-developed by UN Women and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts as a tool to prevent violence among girls.

Unal Kurtal, one of the fathers participating at ACEV's training, with his youngest daughter during a trip organized by the participants of his father's support group in Turkey in 2012. Photo: Mother Child Foundation (ACEV).

Fatherhood training to end discrimination against women in Turkey
A civil society organization’s ‘fatherhood programme’, supported by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, has reached more than 2,000 fathers through discussion-based men-only assemblies in schools across six provinces. Its aim: to prevent domestic violence by involving men as allies and promoting gender equality and sensitivity among fathers.

Join the conversation

End violence against women twibbon mock-up.


Orange your profile picture to show your support!

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 will be available here.

*Source: UN Women. Go to Original.

Read also:

Violence Against Women: Why We Keep Getting it Wrong

Women Flee Central America and Mexico to Escape Surge in Deadly Gang Violence

Women Make Tremendous Contributions to the World, But Violence, Discrimination Hold Them Back’

Reported Sexual Abuse of Refugee and Migrant Women and Children on Move in Europe

Number of Women and Children Crossing Macedonia to Seek Refuge in Europe Triples in Three Months

Nepal’s Earthquake – ‘Dramatic Increase in Amount of Sexual and Domestic Violence against Women Survivors’

How Can Women Combine Work with Breastfeeding, Raising Their Children

Women and Biodiversity Feed the World, Not Corporations and GMOs

Orange Day 2015: UNiTE to End Violence against Women

Letter to Palestinian Women, by Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate

Building Global Support for Palestine Women Human Rights Defenders,  by Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate

In Morocco, It’s the Women Who Carry the Atlas

Women’s Bodies, Who Do They Belong To?

Women’s Day: Former Kinshasa Cabbie Earns a Crust Feeding Refugees, Aid Workers

Women’s Rights: Personal Testimonies from South Sudan

Hakim Mai, an Inspiring Climate Change Fighter

‘Uniting with Women to Fight Corruption’

Women Earn on Average 77 % Less Than Men

At Current Rate, It will Take Over 80 Years for Women to Achieve Parity in Employment

Int’l Women’s Day 2015: Women Farmers Key to Fighting Hunger

In Africa, 70% of Crop Production Depends on Women Yet They Still Own Only 2% of the Land

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