Over 450 ‘orange events’ planned in more than 70 countries including lighting of the Niagara Falls, Council of Europe building, India Gate, and the ruins of Petra in Jordan

Hundreds of iconic monuments worldwide will be illuminated, starting today, as part of a UN effort to galvanise support for global on violence against women and girls. UN’s “Orange the World” calls global action on an end to violence against women and girls, which affects one in three worldwide.

Unifying the large-scale social mobilization and global events will be the use of the colour orange, which has come to symbolize a bright and optimistic future free from violence against women and girls.

Globally, over 450 events are planned in more than 70 countries 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.

Violence against women and girls affects one in three worldwide. The call to action is part of the UN Secretary-General’s’ Unite to end violence against women’ campaign, led by UN Women, the UN’s agency for gender equality.

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.

It will be carried out during the civil society-driven ’16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence’, which will run from today commemorated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women until Human Rights Day on 10 December.

“Violence against women and girls remains one of the most serious – and the most tolerated – human rights violations. 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”, saidUN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “The focus must now be on prevention, and although there is no single solution to such a complex problem, there is growing evidence of the range of actions that can stop violence before it happens. This comprehensive approach forms the core of the new framework developed by UN Women and our partner agencies.”

In her statement to mark this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), Ms. Phumzile says “if we all work together: governments, civil society organizations, the UN system, businesses, schools, and individuals mobilizing through new solidarity movements, we will eventually achieve a more equal world—a Planet 50-50—where women and girls can and will live free from violence.”

Community mobilization, group interventions for both women and men, educational programmes and empowerment of women are some of the interventions that have impact, when they are put together with other legal, behavioural and social changes, she said. For example, in Uganda, engaging communities in discussion of unequal power relations between men and women dropped rates of physical violence by men against their partners by half.

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