Why This International Day?
- Violence against women is a human rights violation
- Violence against women is a consequence of discrimination against women, in law and also in practice, and of persisting inequalities between men and women
- Violence against women impacts on, and impedes, progress in many areas, including poverty eradication, combating HIV/AIDS, and peace and security
- Violence against women and girls is not inevitable. Prevention is possible and essential
- Violence against women continues to be a global pandemic.
Facts and Figures
- 35% of women and girls globally experience some form of physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime with up to seven in ten women facing this abuse in some countries.
- An estimated 133 million girls and women have experienced some form of female genital mutilation/cutting in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the harmful practice is most common.
- Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children, 250 million of whom were married before the age of 15. Girls who marry before the age of 18 are less likely to complete their education and more likely to experience domestic violence and complications in childbirth.
- The costs and consequence of violence against women last for generations.
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 »
The Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza, the Empire State Building, the Peace Palace in The Hague, among other landmarks around the world were lit in orange for the International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women. Photo: UN Women