UN launches ‘Orange the World’ campaign for action on violence against women
ISLAMABAD (Pakistan) – Pakistan’s iconic National Monument is among hundreds of monuments across the world that have been illuminated as part of a UN effort to galvanise global support to end violence against women and girls.
National Monument of Pakistan located in the capital city, Islamabad has turned Orange in colour on the eve of 25 November 2015, which signifies commencement of the 16 Days of Activism campaign to raise awareness and mobilize actions to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls.
UN’s call to “Orange the World” calls global action on an end to violence against women and girls, which affects one in three worldwide. The colour orange, which has come to symbolise a bright and optimistic future free from violence against women and girls, will help unify the large-scale social mobilisation.
Switching the National Monument of Pakistan’s lights to ORANGE were Her Excellency Jeannette Seppen, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands); Ms. Lola Castro, UN Resident Coordinator a.i.; Ms. Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson of National Commission on the Status of Women; Mr. Asad S. Jafar, Chairman and CEO of Philips Pakistan Limited and Mr. Jamshed Kazi Country Representative, UN Women.
Pakistan’s National Monument will be bathed in Orange for the next 16 Days, marking a historic moment in the life of this iconic site that represents the Nation’s four provinces and three territories. The monument’s orange lit flower shape and petals embody the country’s women, men, girls and boys, and symbolizes the optimism of a Nation committed to progress, peace and development for all.
Commitments and actions taken over the next 16 Days (and beyond) to end gender-based discrimination very timely follow the adoption by Prime Minster of Pakistan, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, along with other world leaders, of a new development framework and the Sustainable Development Goals at a historic event on 27 September 2015 at the UN General Assembly.
Orange the World campaign also provides Pakistan with a golden opportunity to position gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment at the centre of the national and local agenda, both as an important end in itself and as an essential means to sustainable development, according to UN.
“Violence against women and girls remains one of the most serious –- and the most tolerated -– human rights violations,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka in a statement. “It is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality and discrimination. Its continued presence is one of the clearest markers of societies out of balance and we are determined to change that,” she said.
World’s iconic monuments go Orange
Lighting up of iconic buildings in Orange and showcasing efforts to end the pandemic of violence against women and girls, is part of a global movement with UN Women at the forefront.
Besides the National Monument of Pakistan, other major landmarks across the world to go Orange include the Niagara Falls (Canada/USA), the European Commission building (Belgium), the archeological ruins at Petra (Jordan), the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), and the Palais de Justice in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Globally, over 450 events have been planned in more than 70 countries including Pakistan, throughout the 16 days which include the lighting of major monuments, and numerous activities involving civil society such as dialogue sessions with faith-based leaders, film screenings, theatre and dance performances, rallies, marches, marathons and digital activism via social media platforms.
UN Women invites everybody to join hands and add voice to the “Orange the World” campaign to end violence against women and girls, where together, we can achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women in line with UN Women’s “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it Up for Gender Equality” initiative.
Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights and permeates every society, class, race, geographical area and age group. Last year the World Health Organization called it ‘a global epidemic’ and a public health crisis. Violence not only has negative consequences for those who suffer it, but also their families, the community and the country at large. It is a gross human rights violation, and also has tremendous costs, from greater health care and legal expenses and losses in productivity, impacting national budgets and overall development. The origins lie deeply rooted in gender inequality and discrimination, and in cultural and social norms, and practices. It is closely interconnected and interdependent with other dimensions of gender inequality.