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Campaign logoUN Secretary-General's campaign:
United to end the violence against women
. Ban Ki-moon
"Break the silence. When you witness violence against women and girls, do not sit back. Act."
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary - General

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
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

Orange Day

China Orange Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 2013

In July last year the Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign proclaimed every 25th of the month as Orange Day. Initiated and led by the UNiTE campaign Global Youth Network, worldwide activities implemented on this day by UN country offices and civil society organizations strive to highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year, on 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), but every month.

Under the heading ‘Safe spaces for women and girls’, this year the UNiTE campaign is focusing its Orange Day activities on highlighting recommendations of the agreed conclusions of the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57) which took place in March this year. In April, UNiTE focused on ‘Safe Work Place for Women and Girls’, in May it highlighted ‘Safe Homes for Women and Girls’ while in June, UNiTE’s Orange Day coincided with the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (June 26th) and the campaign focused on ‘State Custody and State Care as Safe Spaces for Women and Girls’’. This month, the campaign highlights ‘Cyber Space as Safe Space for Women and Girls’ and it is also the first birthday of Orange day.

CYBER SPACE AS SAFE SPACE FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS

Technological developments in information and communications have presented rich and varied opportunities for advancements in the empowerment and participation of women and girls. New platforms now exist from which to raise awareness and disseminate information which have enabled women access to a wealth of information, presented new modes of communication, and new means of mobilization. The proliferation of digital technologies have enabled the development of innovative tools and programmes to prevent and end violence against women  and girls and have facilitated information sharing on the topic.

Unfortunately, along with the myriad of possibilities brought about by technological developments, new risks and types of violence have also emerged. One such form of violence is cyberbullying, which occurs on the internet and mobile phones and can be initiated in cyberspace, or be an extension of face-to-face bullying.  Cyberbullying can include threats and attempts to humiliate its subject through the posting of embarrassing pictures or personal information. It can be particularly difficult to hold perpetrators to account since bullies can easily conceal their identity online.

Technology has also played a role in enabling and exacerbating violence which takes place offline. It offers possibilities to store and share personal information about ones’ movements, social life and finances which have offered increased possibilities for partners or family members to exert control in the lives of others. Furthermore, the anonymity afforded by the internet has exposed women and girls to specific risks, including the possibility that those who they are communicating with are doing so under a false identity.

57th COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN

At the 57th Session on the Commission of the Status of Women, governments made a range of commitments directed towards harnessing the possibilities offered by information and communication technologies and making cyberspace safe for women and girls:

Support the development and use of information and communication technologies and social media as a resource for the empowerment of women and girls, including access to information on the prevention of and response to violence against women and girls; and develop mechanisms to combat the use of information and communication technologies and social media to perpetrate violence against women and girls, including the criminal misuse of information and communication technologies for sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, child pornography and trafficking in women and girls, and emerging forms of violence, such as cyberstalking, cyberbullying and privacy violations that compromise women’s and girls’ safety. Pg. 13 (WW)

ORANGE DAY ACTIVITIES (25th July)

This Orange Day, the UNiTE campaign will highlight both the need to end violence against women and girls which take place in cyber space, and the positive role that information and communications technologies and programs can play in preventing and ending violence against women and girls.

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