Yet another 25th, yet another Orange Day. The previous blog was written on a nice summer day in Sweden. One month filled with events, meetings, encounters, an end and new beginnings has passed and now I am sitting in Arusha, Tanzania writing a new blog for this significant day.
I am in Arusha to participate in the 3rd East Africa Conference on Alcohol where around 90 participants from government and non-governmental sector meet to discuss the alcohol policies in the area. The theme of the conference is: “Alcohol is a problem: Act now”. A title that eventually does not need any more words. Alcohol IS a problem – for individuals and for society.
For the alcohol user him/herself and for his/her closest environment family and community. The harm is enormous and knows no borders. It’s culturally universal. Regardless the continent – alcohol use leads to bad health, accidents and (domestic) violence. Alcohol is a trigger and very often used as an excuse for violent behavior.
On the other hand hand, removal of alcohol from families leads universally to significant decrease of domestic violence and increased unity of the family members.
The title of the UN’s campaign for this day is “Say NO – unite to end violence against women”. My question is: what is the next step?
It can be easy to say NO.But how easy is it to act accordingly? To wear an orange T-shirt is not enough. It’s a great reminder and a tool to raise awareness that, if we want a change, our wish needs to lead to actions. To be able to do so, it’s important to identify the reasons and the elements that ignite violence. One of the triggers as mentioned above is alcohol use.
Therefore my suggestion for what to do on this day is very simple: I would suggest making each 25th an alcohol free day to support the cause and raise the awareness. An orange juice instead of alcohol on each 25th is a great combination of the causes bringing together the element of awareness and an actual deed.
For more reading:
Check out our Booklet: Alcohol Culture in Gender Zoom
And here comes a little outcome of the day. Parliamentarians and NGO representatives from various states from East Africa supporting the cause: