It is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, today on November 25. Today is also the day that the 16 days of activism period kicks off – and the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls to “orange the world.”
Why does the United Nations call to orange the world?
In the Secretary-General’s Message for 2015 it reads that Ban Ki-moon is gravely concerned about the epidemic of violence against women and girls because this violence does “traumatize individuals and tear[s] at the fabric of society.”
I have led a global response through the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign and the HeForShe initiative to engage men in promoting gender equality. I call on governments to increase contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, which aims to address chronic underinvestment in this area.
So, why orange? And why to color the world orange?
Ban Ki-moon writes that:
Millions of people across the world are uniting under the banner colour orange, chosen to symbolize the brighter future of a world free from violence against women and girls. This year, in a sign of the growing momentum for change, orange lights will illuminate iconic landmarks from the historic ruins at Petra in Jordan to Niagara Falls in North America.
We can also blaze a path to a future of dignity and equality for all by implementing the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which recognizes the importance of eliminating violence against women, with related targets across several of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The pervasiveness of violence against women and girls means we can all take steps to address it. Let us join forces to end this crime, promote full gender equality and realize a world where women and girls enjoy the safety they deserve – for their sake and for all of humanity.
It is in this context – that everyone can do something and that we do have frameworks like the Agenda2030 and Sustainable Development Goals – IOGT International and its Member Organizations have committed to orange the world through alcohol policy.