Orange Day in Tanzania. Photo: UN Women/Stephanie Raison
Orange Day October 2016
UNiTE Campaign Orange Day Action Plan: 25 October 2016
Access to justice and peaceful societies for sustainable development for women and girls
The United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women has proclaimed the 25th of each and every month as “Orange Day,” a day to raise awareness of and take action to end violence against women and girls. As the bright and optimistic colour for the UNiTE Campaign, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls. Orange Day calls upon activists, governments, and UN partners to mobilise people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, but every month.
In 2016, a new global development agenda was adopted and ratified by every UN Member State. Through its 17 goals and 169 targets, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an agenda for global action for the next 15 years, addresses the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. The Agenda recognises gender equality and the empowerment of women as a key priority and pledges that “no one will be left behind.” Goal 5 of the agenda aims to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” and includes specific targets to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. All goals are integrated and indivisible, therefore their achievement is also fully dependent on ensuring parallel and interconnected implementation to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls.
For this reason, throughout 2016 the UNiTE Campaign and its Orange Days will highlight specific Sustainable Development Goals as they relate to violence against women and girls. On the next Orange Day on 25 October, the UNiTE campaign will highlight Access to justice and peaceful societies for sustainable development for women and girls.
Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies
Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels. It aims to ensure equal access to justice for all, significantly reduce all forms of violence, and end abuse, exploitation and trafficking.
While States have the obligation to punish those who perpetrate violence against women by implementing measures that recognize violence against women as a crime, and ensure procedures are in place to enable investigations, prosecutions, and access to effective remedies and reparations, women who face violence often encounter numerous obstacles to accessing justice.
Obstacles may include institutional barriers within the justice system such as the lack of expertise of legal professionals, lack of coordination and cooperation amongst relevant institutions, as well as indifference or lack of resourcing. Accessing justice may be further complicated in countries in which parallel legal systems or traditional dispute mechanisms exist.
In humanitarian situations, challenges may be compounded due to weakened or nonexistent institutional infrastructure. In post-conflict settings, it’s critical that there is a comprehensive justice and criminal accountability system for sexual crimes and that survivors of sexual and gender-based violence can access redress and reparations.
Some programs, projects and resources:
- With the support of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, Physicians for Human Rights is working in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to engage networks of doctors, nurses, police, lawyers, and judges who work together to enhance justice for survivors of sexual violence. The project aims to broaden local capacity to assume full ownership of training on forensic methods and documentation, advocate for the adoption of forensic techniques for evidence collection, and integrate forensic training in the curriculums of medical and law schools.
- In Ethiopia, for example, UN Women has assisted with institutional capacity-building to make sure that the essential services provided to women subjected to violence are rights-based and gender-sensitive. Following a gender audit, the Ethiopian police force has improved criminal justice responses by revising its training programme to comprehensively integrate women’s rights and gender equality.
- In Jordan, women’s access to justice plays an integral part in reducing gender-based violence (GBV) and in enhancing women’s legal empowerment. UN Women helps to increase the capacity of the Jordanian justice sector, through trainings, guidelines and peer-to-peer exchanges, in order to better deal with cases of GBV.
- In Myanmar, customary practices lead the women to disregard legal issues or drop cases especially regarding domestic violence or sexual abuses because of discriminatory norms and the negatives social impacts for women who pursue redress due to believes that consider that these women lost their dignity. UN Women and Justice Base have undertaken research into Women’s Access to Justice in the Plural Legal Systems of Myanmar. Read more.
Take action this Orange Day!
- Wear orange on October 25th to show your support for access to justice and peaceful societies for sustainable development for women and girls. Share your orange photos @SayNo_UNiTE.
- Host an on or offline discussion to explore the barriers that exist in your country for survivors of violence against women. Invite legal specialist to participate.
- Find out what legal measures exist to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls in your country on the Global Database on Violence against Women
- Women, Business and the Law 2016: Getting to Equal
Women, Business and the Law measures how laws, regulations, and institutions differentiate between women and men in ways that may affect women’s incentives or capacity to work or to set up and operate a business. Protecting women from violence has been a data focus area of this year’s edition. The indicator examines laws on domestic violence against women and the existence and scope of laws on sexual harassment. The data for this edition expands coverage to whether women are protected from marital rape, what the legal age of marriage is for boys and girls, and whether protection orders can be authorized.
- The International Commission of Jurists has developed a manual for practitioners on access to justice for survivors of gender-based violence which is designed to support legal practitioners and human rights defenders involved in pursuing cases of gender-based violence.
- The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (aka the Istanbul Convention) is the first legally binding tool that obliges States to act against gender-specific and domestic violence. It provides comprehensive measures to combat all forms of violence against women and to protect all victims of domestic violence.
Social Media Messages
Learn how @UN_Women helps survivors of sexual violence in Kosovo to overcome trauma & seek justice: http://ow.ly/DRQN303ggP0 #OrangeDay
Do domestic violence laws exist in your country? What range of protection do they provide? Find out here: http://wbl.worldbank.org #OrangeDay
It's #OrangeDay! Wear orange & say NO to violence against women & girls http://bit.ly/1fXiNmW @SayNO_UNiTE
This #OrangeDay, find out more how #VAW and access to justice are linked: http://bit.ly/1fXiNmW @SayNO_UNiTE
This #OrangeDay focuses on #globalgoals to access to justice http://bit.ly/1fXiNmW @SayNO_UNiTE women subjected to violence
During the armed conflict of 1998 to 1999 in Kosovo, an untold number of women experienced systematically organized sexual violence. Siobhan Hobbs, Gender Adviser with UN Women’s Project Office in Kosovo, is working on a programme with the National Council for Survivors of Sexual Violence, the government of Kosovo and survivors of conflict-related violence, to facilitate reparations for the survivors. Find out more.
In 2016, #UNITE is focusing on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development as it relates to ending violence against women and girls. This month we take a
closer look at how violence against women and access to justice and violence against women and girls are linked. Learn more.
While States have the obligation to punish those who perpetrate violence against women, women who face violence often encounter numerous obstacles to accessing justice. Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims to ensure equal access to justice for all. This #OrangeDay find out more about how access to justice and violence against women and girls are linked.