Orange DayStudents from Tonga's Tailulu College making the most of new high-speed broadband services at 2013 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day celebrations in the Tongan capital, Nuku'alofa. Photo credit: The World Bank/Thomas Michael Perry
Using technology to end violence against women and girls: Orange Day, 25th May 2015
The United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women has proclaimed the 25th of each month as ‘Orange Day’, a day to raise awareness and take action against violence against women and girls. As a bright and optimistic colour, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls for the UNiTE Campaign. Orange Day calls upon activists, governments and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year, on 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), but every month. This month, UNiTE campaign Orange Day will focus on the use and technology to prevent violence against women and girls.
TECHNOLOGY TO CREATE A WORLD FREE FROM VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS
The internet and mobile technologies are constantly creating new ways to connect, share resources and experiences and build communities. The ‘Tech community’ has an important role to play in collaborating on the development of technological tools to prevent and end violence against women and has supported efforts through innovative partnerships and contributing to activities such as ‘Hackathons,’ which aim to build technology solutions to prevent violence against women and girls, assist survivors and assist the agencies that work to support them.
There are many new technological tools that can help to protect women and girls from violence, including through:
- Mapping – crowdsourced mapping tools identify where violence against women and girls is happening in both the online and offline world
- Connecting – social networking platforms bring together women and girls and connect them with communities of advocates against violence
- Informing – the internet offers unprecedented access to information, enabling women and girls around the world to better understand their rights and to access services. It is equally important to address and prevent violence against women and girls in cyberspace, and to educate women and girls about cyber safety.
- Protecting – alert apps help women and girls to notify key support people if they feel they are at risk of violence
- Collecting evidence – technology is increasing being utilized to collect and store evidence of violence against women and girls with the aim of increasing access to justice for survivors
Many organizations are now utilizing the power of technology to develop tools and strategies to end violence against women and girls. UN Women is currently undertaking research into how mobile technologies can be used to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls, through a Global Mapping project with Microsoft which is currently being finalized on women’s access to and use of mobiles phones to prevent, document and respond to sexual violence and other forms of violence against women in public spaces – in the cities of Rio de Janeiro, New Delhi and Marrakech. UN Women also launched a mobile phone app in Brazil, which promotes support services for women and girls who have faced violence.
The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women is supporting projects around the world that are harnessing the power of technology to address violence against women and girls, from geographic information systems, to mobile apps, to information databases. With 90 programmes in 74 countries amounting to US$53.2 million, more than 10% of grantees are working to mobilize technology to advance the rights of women and girls. For example:
- In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Physicians for Human Rights is piloting Medicapt, an innovative mobile app that equips health and justice sector officials to collect, document, transmit and preserve forensic evidence of sexual violence
- In India, Breakthrough is up-scaling its award-winning, multi-media public service strategy and developing videogames and mobile apps to expand its innovative anti-violence work
- Oxfam Novib and partners Soul City Institute (South Africa), Breakthrough (India) and Puntos de Encuentro (Nicaragua) are using video-blogs to raise awareness on dating without violence and on the many ways gendered violence is expressed and reproduced, and training civil society organizations to mobilize edutainment (education through entertainment) in their advocacy work in eleven countries in Asia and Africa.
ORANGE DAY ACTIVITIES
- On Friday, 22 May, the UNiTE campaign will host a global tweetathon around how technology can be used to prevent and end violence against women and girls. Join us. Share information about initiatives you know about. Invite others to do the same. Learn about innovative projects. Follow @SayNO_UNiTE and the hashtag #OrangeDay.
- Organize a discussion with members of your community to discuss innovative technological tools that can help to prevent and end violence against women and girls. Invite technology organizations, municipal leaders, youth groups, media, private sector partners, women’s organizations and others to participate. Don’t forget to discuss ways in which women and girls can protect their personal data and location information online, use safety resources, and learn about cyber safety.
- Coders! Get involved with efforts to prevent violence against women and girls. Show your support by sharing the sample messages below and wearing orange on May 25. Get together for a “hackathon” to collaborate on new technologies to prevent violence against women and girls. Get inspired – learn more about Hackathons to address violence against women and girls in the resources section below.
Take Back the Tech:
UN Women Virtual Knowledge Centre to end violence against women and girls:
Communications XChange: http://xchange.futureswithoutviolence.org/
Circle of 6, an app to help you connect with your friends to stay safe and prevent violence before it happens: http://www.circleof6app.com/
UNDP publication, New Technology and the Prevention of Violence and Conflict
Hackathons aimed at preventing and ending violence against women and girls have been organized by The World Bank, the Global Fund for Women, the New York Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence.
SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES
Messages for technology organizations and professionals
Today is #OrangeDay. The tech world says NO to violence against women and girls. http://owl.li/mlJkg via @SayNO_UNiTE #VAW
#OrangeDay today is all about how the tech world can help to end violence against women and girls. http://owl.li/mlJkg via @SayNO_UNiTE
For #OrangeDay, we are celebrating the tech tools helping to end violence against women and girls. http://owl.li/mlJkg via @SayNO_UNiTE
Happy #OrangeDay, coders! Let’s get hacking on tech tools to help end violence against women and girls http://owl.li/mlJkg via @SayNO_UNiTE
25 May is #OrangeDay! How will you take action? Join us in raising awareness about #technology to #endVAW http://owl.li/mlJkg via @SayNO_UNiTE
Happy #OrangeDay! Say NO to violence against women and girls, on and offline. http://owl.li/mlJkg via @SayNO_UNiTE
This #OrangeDay, learn about the #technology to end violence against women and girls http://owl.li/mlJkg via @SayNO_UNiTE
Crowdsourced maps, info hubs and alert apps are just some of the tech tools helping end #VAW http://owl.li/mlJkg via @SayNO_UNiTE #OrangeDay
Do you know of #tech tools to stop violence against women & girls? Share them! http://owl.li/mlJkg via @SayNO_UNiTE #OrangeDay
Happy #OrangeDay! This month’s action theme highlights the role of technology in ending violence against women and girls. Start a conversation with your community to talk about the tech tools that can protect women and girls from violence both on and offline. Invite technology organizations, municipal leaders, youth groups, media, private sector partners, women’s organizations and others to participate. http://owl.li/mlJkg
The UNiTE campaign has declared the 25th of each month as #OrangeDay – a day of action to end all forms of violence against women and girls. This month we are highlighting the role of technology in helping to end violence against women and girls. Learn more and share tools and strategies that can protect women and girls online and offline. http://owl.li/mlJkg
There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.
SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON