The United Nations has termed the 25th of each month “Orange Day”, a campaign that serves to end violence against women and children worldwide. Today, November 25, is a special day in the campaign, because it is now that 16 days of activism, until December 10, 2015, are commencing.
The campaign to “Orange the World” builds on last year’s movement to “Orange Your Neighbourhood”. United Nations entities and supporters took the campaign to the streets of their neighbourhoods, organizing a wide range of “orange events” to emphasize the importance of individual and community activism to end violence. Activities took place in over 70 countries around the world, from flash mobs to bicycle races, street marches, art exhibits and singing competitions. In many countries, the “Orange Your Neighbourhood” campaign provided the opportunity to launch new initiatives and events, and renew commitments:
- As part of the “Orange Your Neighborhood” campaign, UN Women and the International Telecommunications Union in Cameroon launched the first toll-free calling centre for survivors of gender-based violence in Douala during a special Gender Café.
- Jamaica’s government and private sectors joined UN Women Jamaica to launch an advocacy campaign around ending sexual violence against girls.
- In the Asia-Pacific region, 600 representatives from Member States, civil society, youth, media and UN agencies congregated in Thailand and signed a pledge to accelerate prevention and response to violence against women and girls.
- “Orange Your Neighbourhood” sparked a global conversation on social media, reaching over 100 million people as politicians, sports stars and actors took to social media to express their support.
- Major landmarks around the world were lit orange to draw attention to the issue including the Empire State Building, UN Headquarters and large screens in Times Square, the Angel of Independence in Mexico City, the Palace of the President of the Republic of Ecuador, the Torre Futura in San Salvador, the Administration Building of the Panama Canal, and the Sphinx and the Pyramids at Giza in Egypt.
Want to get involved? Distribute the UN poster or check out their toolkit, which has suggestions on how to raise awareness about the campaign. UNiTE Campaign Coordinator Anna Alaszewski, firstname.lastname@example.org, is also eager to hear about your ideas.
More information is also available at http://endviolence.un.org/orangeday.shtml.