Gender Violence: Orange the World!
Time to start getting ready for a 16-day, multi-year campaign beginning on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
The theme for this year's International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is 'Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape', on 25 November, a campaign which will last for 16 days and which will conclude this year on Human Rights Day, 10 December.
The campaign will continue over the coming years, with the aim to end gender violence, focusing on rape committed against women and girls in times of peace or war.
In a world that calls itself civilized, the statistics are shameful. One third of women and girls experience some sort of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime; almost half of married women have no say in the frequency or nature of sexual relations with their partner; 200 million women and girls have experienced female genital mutilation (FGM); 750 million women and girls were forced into marriage as minors; 71% of victims of human trafficking are females and 75% of these are subjected to sexual exploitation; more women and girls have experienced harm through violence than from traffic accidents; more women and girls die or are incapacitated through violence than by cancer.
Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)
The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life." (UN Women)
What is VAWG? Violence Against Women and Girls comes in several forms: intimate partner violence, which means beating or battering, psychological abuse, marital rape and femicide; sexual violence and harassment, namely rape, forced and unwanted sexual acts or advances, child sexual molestation, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber-harassment; human trafficking invliving slavery or sexual exploitation; female genital mutilation, where the clitoris is excised so that women will not experience any sexual pleasure; child marriage.
It's about Gender Equality and Respect
A world which practises gender equality is a world in which women and girls are respected, in which the inviolability of the person is respected, it is a world in which everyone, whatever their gender, color, race or creed live together and are respected as equals. Therefore it is the responsibility of everybody, including all men, to stop gender violence, starting by educating boys as they grow up, reporting incidents of abuse to the authorities and working together to eliminate gender violence from communities, societies and ultimately, countries.
The horrific abuses outlined above have lasting consequences for the well-being of the victims while the perpetrators so often walk away from the crimes they have committed with impunity. But let us not only concentrate on violence, for full equality means the same birthrights, starting with full access to education and equal opportunities and pay in the work market. And full equality means respect for the rights of all women, especially when they belong to minorities, or who identify as LGBTI, or the elderly, or those living with HIV or disabilities, those caught up in war, in humanitarian crises.
It appears that still in 2019 there are those among the male population who will beat old ladies, rape young girls, take advantage of the weak and defenceless. But these are not men and do not deserve to be regarded as such. They are parasites whose very existence is an insult to Humankind.
gender equality. So Orange the World, showing your solidarity with the cause of eliminating gender violence and implementing gender equality this 25 November, and why not the 25th day of every month? Information on initiatives is available on the excellent UN Women website. This year many public buildings will display the color orange, chosen to symbolize a brighter future in a world which repudiates gender violence and a world which finally enjoys and celebrates
Photo: Por RAWA - http://rawa.org/beating.htm (Archived at the Wayback Machine), CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11894008