Tag Archives: Orange Day

Orange Day: October 25 – safe public spaces for women and girls

Reposted from the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign

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 Places for Women and Girls’, in May, ‘Safe Homes for Women and Girls’ while in June, Orange Day coincided with the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (June 26th) and the campaign focused on ‘State Custody and Care as Safe Spaces’ . In July it drew attention to ‘Cyber Space as Safe Space for Women and Girls’ while the theme for August was Sexual Violence against Women and Girls in Conflict’. Ahead of the International Day of the Girl Child (October 11th), the theme in September was ‘Safe Schools for Girls’ and on October 25 the UNiTE campaign will highlight ‘Safe Public Spaces for Women and Girls’.

SAFE PUBLIC SPACES FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS

Sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public spaces is an everyday occurrence for women and girls around the world and is a violation of women’s human rights. Women and girls experience various types of sexual violence in public spaces including sexual harassment, rape, and femicide. This violence may take place on the street, on public transport, in parks, in and around schools, places of employment, and other public spaces in urban and rural areas. Some cases are publicized and receive media and public attention, while most cases go unreported and unaddressed.

Violence and the fear of violence reduces women’s freedom of movement and rights to access education, work, recreation, and essential services, and can restrict their participation in political life. It also negatively affects their health and well-being. Despite these wide-ranging consequences, violence against women and girls in public spaces remains a neglected area, with few laws or policies in place to prevent and address it.

57th COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN

At the 57th Session on the Commission of the Status of Women, governments made specific commitments directed towards making public spaces safer for women and girls.

For the first time the Commission on the Status of Women, the highest global normative body on women’s rights, during its 57th Session specifically included several clauses in its Agreed Conclusions document devoted to safety of women and girls in public spaces, and particularly, in the cities.  It expressed “deep concern about violence against women and girls in public spaces, including sexual harassment, especially when it is being used to intimidate women and girls who are exercising any of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.”  (23, p4)

It called on the States “to increase measures to protect women and girls from violence and harassment, including sexual harassment and bullying, in both public and private spaces, to address security and safety, through awareness-raising, involvement of local communities, crime prevention laws, policies, programmes such as the Safe Cities Initiative of the United Nations. (ZZ, p13)

SAFE CITIES GLOBAL INITIATIVE

Launched in 2010 by UN Women, the Safe Cities Global Initiative, involving over 15 cities is working to make cities safer for women and girls. The Initiative builds on earlier efforts undertaken by women’s rights organizations and local governments in cities around the world, and is mobilizing more partners at all levels of society through two main programmes:

  1. The Global Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls Programme (2010-2016) implemented by UN Women in partnership with UN Habitat, Women in Cities International, the Huairou Commission, the Women and Habitat Network of Latin America and the Caribbean, UCLG, Microsoft, and other global and local Partners. This is the first-ever global comparative programme that develops, implements, and evaluates tools, policies, and comprehensive approaches on the prevention of, and response to, sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls across different settings.  It is being implemented in Quito, Ecuador; Cairo, Egypt; New Delhi, India; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; and Kigali, Rwanda. Dublin, Ireland became the first city in a developed country to join the Global Initiative.
  1. In 2011, UN Women, UNICEF, and UN-Habitat launched the “Safe and Sustainable Cities for All” joint programme in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; San José, Costa Rica; Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Nairobi, Kenya; Beirut, Lebanon; Marrakesh, Morocco; Manila, Philippines; and Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

The Safe Cities Global Initiative forms part of a larger global movement dedicated to building safe and inclusive cities with and for women and girls to end sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women and girls in public spaces.

Initial activities in the local communities revealed that, often for the first time, women and girls are identifying sexual harassment and fear of sexual violence in public spaces as barriers in their lives. The programmes have also engaged men and youth. By launching their safe city programme, local governments have committed to develop strategic and effective prevention strategies that other countries and municipalities can learn from and adapt.  Learn more.

ORANGE DAY ACTIVITIES (25th October)

This month, the UNiTE campaign’s Orange Day will focus on Safe Public Spaces for women and girls.

What can you do?

  • Organize a discussion with members of your community on the issue of sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women and girls. Talk about sexual harassment in public spaces and examine if it is an issue of concern in your community, where it may take place, and what concrete action can be taken to prevent and respond to it.
  • Share information with your municipality on the Global Safe Cities Initiative and mobilize local action.
  • On Friday, 25 October, the UNiTE campaign will host a tweetathon. Tell us about whether public spaces are safe for women and girls in your city, what you think could be done, and share stories of what has worked. Join in the discussion. The conversation will be facilitated by different partners for one hour each throughout the day. Follow @SayNO_UNiTE and #orangeday on Twitter.

SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES

Twitter

  • On 25 Oct, #OrangeDay #UNiTE campaign says make public spaces safe for women and girls. http://owl.li/mlJkg v @SayNO_UNiTE
  • Happy #OrangeDay!This month #UNiTE focuses on safe public spaces for women&girls.Involved in local initiatives?Share: http://owl.li/mlJkg
  • Today is #UNiTE’s #OrangeDay! Talk about sexual harassment & other forms of violence in public spaces http://owl.li/mlJkg #endSH
  • Today is #OrangeDay!Wear orange & #UNiTE to support violence-free public spaces for women & girls http://owl.li/mlJkg v @SayNO_UNiTE
  • It’s #OrangeDay!Is ur city part of #Safe Cities?Find out&mobilize ur municipality2make public spaces safe4women&girls http://owl.li/mlJkg
  • Join @SayNO_UNiTE tweetathon on #SafeCities! Follow hashtag #orangeday throughout 25/10 & join the conversation. http://owl.li/mlJkg
  • How can we make cities safer for women & girls? Join @SayNO_UNiTE #orangeday tweetathon 25/10 & share ur thoughts. http://owl.li/mlJkg

Sample Facebook messages

The UNiTE campaign has declared the 25th of each month #OrangeDay. This month we are highlighting ‘Safe Public Spaces for Women and Girls’. Join the tweetathon on violence against women and girls in public spaces, and what can be done to eradicate it. http://owl.li/mlJkg   

Today – 25 October – is #OrangeDay, a day to highlight violence against women and girls. This month, we are focusing on ‘Safe Public Spaces for Women and Girls’. Bring your community together to talk about whether your area is safe, and what measures could be introduced. http://owl.li/mlJkg

Today is #OrangeDay. Is your city part of the Safe Cities initiative? Write to your municipality and invite them to participate. http://owl.li/mlJkg

Sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public spaces is an everyday occurrence for women and girls around the world. Are public spaces safe for women and girls in your city? How can we make cities safer? What is the Safe Cities Global Initiative? Join the [@SayNO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women] tweetathon all day on 25 October! http://owl.li/mlJkg 

 See you along the Trail.

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Walking while wearing orange

Koenig 22KI celebrated this Orange Day by walking 22,000 steps in support of the CongoSwim initiative to funds to address sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign proclaimed every 25th of the month as Orange Day 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.

At the heart of the CongoSwim was a 22-mile swim across Lake Tahoe – hence 22,000 steps.

It is not too late for you to: wear orange today, act to end violence against women and girls, and to give to CongoSwim.

See you along the Trail.

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Orange Day – 25 July 2013

Koenig July Orange DayUN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign invites us to celebrate the 25th of every month as an Orange Day – a day to witness and work for an end to violence against women and girls.

This month the focus is on making cyberspace safe space for women and girls.

A tweetup will take place at 11:00 AM Eastern time with the hashtag #orangeday.

I am in – spreading the word and wearing my orange tie.

How about you?

See you along the Trail.

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Make cyber space a safe space for women and girls

from the UNiTE Web page with additional material

orange_day_fb_profile_image_medium300Last July the UN 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.

ORANGE DAY ACTIVITIES (25th July)

This Orange Day, the UNiTE campaign will highlight both the need to end violenceagainst 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.

What can you do?

  • Say no to violence against women and girls in cyber space.
  • Turn cyber space orange for Orange day.
  • Change your Facebook profile picture to the UNiTE campaign’s July 25 ribbon image.
    Post pictures of yourself wearing orange.
  • Use & share the photo of the UNiTE Ribbon.
  • On Thursday July 25, the UNiTE campaign will host a Twitter discussion, along with other partners, around how information and communication technologies can be used to prevent and end violence against women. Join us. Share information about initiatives you know about. Invite others to do the same. Learn about innovative projects. Follow @SayNO_UNiTE and #orangeday on Twitter.

SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES

Twitter

  • Happy #OrangeDay!This month #UNiTE focuses on safe cyber space 4women&girls.Check out initiatives using tech2 #endVAW http://owl.li/mlJkgToday is #OrangeDay! Wear orange and #UNiTE to end #violenceagainstwomen and girls in cyber space. http://o wl.li/mlJkg
  • Say NO to #VAW & girls in cyberspace.This #orangeday,turn cyber space orange 2show ur support for #UNiTE campaign! http://owl.li/mlJkg
  • After #CSW57, #UNiTE campaign says harness technology as a tool to #endVAW and make cyber space safe for women&girls! http://owl.li/mlJkg

Sample Facebook messages

  1. Today is #OrangeDay and the UNiTE campaign is calling for cyber space to be safe and violence-free for women and girls. At CSW57 on ending violence against women and girls, governments committed to: “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. 12 (WW).
  2. The UNiTE campaign has declared the 25th of each month #OrangeDay and today calls for cyber space to be a safe space for women and girls. Show your support by wearing orange and turning cyber space orange! Post pictures of yourself wearing orange, turn your profile picture orange and find out more about what you can do.http://owl.li/mlJkg
  3. Today is #OrangeDay, a day to take action to end violence against women and girls. The UNiTE campaign is focusing on making cyber space safe for women and girls. Join UNiTE’s Twitter discussion on using information and communication technologies to prevent and end violence against women and girls! http://owl.li/mlJkg
  4. Today – 25 July– is one year since the UNiTE campaign declared the 25th of each month as #OrangeDay. Since then, people all over the world have come together to take part in activities to prevent and end violence against women. See the photos.

Resources

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Get in the swim

CongoSwim FLYER 8.5 x 11 JPEGHelp address sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sign up now to participate in CongoSwim on August 25. Organized by the Congo Team of the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church in California, CongoSwim provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly in terms of sexual violence against women and girls. August 25 is an Orange Day – a day to witness and work for an end to violence against women and girls.

CongoSwim participants are encouraged to raise funds for Congolese grassroots groups receiving grants from Global Fund for Women and Friends of the Congo. A portion of the funds raised will also benefit the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative, to prevent children from drowning in the US.

Swimming is not the only way to participate. I am going to pray and walk on August 25 to support this effort. When you donate, you could do so in my name.

Learn more and register now.

See you along the Trail.

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CongoSwim – 25 August 2013

CongoSwim FLYER 8.5 x 11 JPEGYesterday I signed up to take part in the CongoSwim. Held on August 25, a UN Orange Day to witness and work to end violence against women, CongoSwim will raise awareness about violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly against women. The event will also raise funds to care for the victims of violence and to help prevent future violence.

Swimmers across the nation are joining CongoSwim 2013, a collective call to action to break the silence about the deadliest conflict in the world since World War II and the worst humanitarian crisis of our time by sending a WAVE of Love to people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

CongoSwim 2013 will take place worldwide on August 25 when swimmers and ‘not yet swimmers’ will swim in solidarity with Congolese working for peace and stability in the heart of Africa.

Coco Ramazani is a young survivor of systematic rape in eastern Congo whose horrific story is told in Tell This to My Mother by Joseph E Mwantuali.  To mark the global event to spotlight how soldiers are ordered to rape women and children to destroy communities in the scramble for Congo’s resources, Coco will take part in a healing ceremony on the pilot boat while CongoSwim founder Keris Dahlkamp strives to swim 22 miles across Lake Tahoe, expected to take him 12-14 hours.  Rape as a weapon of war has been used around the world throughout history, yet an overwhelming silence remains.

International model Noella Coursaris Musunka, founder of The Georges Malaika School for Girls in Kalebuka, southeast Congo will host a party with the students in solidarity on August 25.  Nunu Kidane, the Director of Priority Africa Network, who was recognized as a “Champion of Change” by the White House, will be swimming in the San Francisco Bay Area. Kidane says:

“I’m coordinating a swim with members of my local YMCA because what has been happening in eastern Congo is similar to what happened in the Holocaust, protracted over many years. Little attention has been paid and few are asking why. As in the past, when the full scale of the reality is finally revealed, many will ask ‘how can this be? I did not know.’ We all need to be involved for our common and shared humanity.“

Join Charles Chapman of New York, the first African-American to swim the English Channel, along with various Girl Scout troops, college super swimmers and senior citizens who have registered unique swim actions to take place in their communities on August 25.  Families are encouraged to register their child’s swim lessons or participation on a swim team with CongoSwim. This unique and inspiring collective swim was organized by volunteers in observance of Orange Day, a call to action by the United Nations UNiTE campaign to end violence against women and girls.

There is no registration fee, but participants are encouraged to raise funds for the Congolese grassroots groups receiving grants from Global Fund for Women and Friends of the Congo.  A portion of the funds raised will also benefit the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative, to prevent children from drowning in the US.  Upon registering, participants receive a Swim Pack with sample fundraising letters, facts about the Congo as well as tips for talking with children about injustice.

Why Congo?

  • In northeastern Congo, the greatest humanitarian crisis since WWII has claimed an estimated six million lives from war related causes, half being children under the age of 5.
  • Rape as a weapon of war. Hundreds of thousands, some say millions, of women and children in Congo have endured extreme and systematic sexual violence by government and militia soldiers.
  • Vital to the fight against climate change. Congo is a part of the second largest rainforest in the world.
  • An abundance of minerals, which help power our laptops, cellphones and many other products we use daily are mined in Congo
  • Public Law 109-456, the U.S. government has a law on its books that can help advance peace and democracy in the Congo. It was sponsored by President Obama when he was Senator but it has yet to be fully implemented.

The ingenuity, vision and resiliency of the people are far greater than the mineral wealth of Congo. Thousands of Congolese women and youth leaders are organizing a movement denouncing violence and bringing solutions to national and world leaders. In solidarity with this movement, CongoSwim 2013 uses swimming as a vehicle to raise consciousness and support for the worldwide movement for a peaceful, just and dignified Congo.

Watch for more about how and why I will participate later. For now, think about taking part yourself.

See you along the Trail.

 

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25 May 2013 Orange Day

photo (5)As part of an international effort to end violence against women and girls, I wear orange (even if the shirt is a bit wrinkled) today as I have on the 25th of each month for nearly a year. I also tweet personally and professionally. Each month, I find other actions to take. Here’s the information so that you may join me.

The Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign proclaims every 25th of the month as Orange Day! The first in a series of Orange Days was launched on 25 July last year.

Initiated and led by the UNiTE campaign Global Youth Network, the action strives to highlight the issue of 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. Orange Day aims to spark worldwide interest and conversation, highlight the fact that violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights and call for its eradication without reservation, equivocation or delay.

This year we’ll be using our Orange Day actions to highlight recommendations from the agreed conclusions of the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women(CSW57) and in the framework of ‘safe spaces for women and girls’.  In May, the campaign will focus on ‘Safe Homes for Women and Girls’.  

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS IN THE HOME 

Many women and girls face violence in the very place they should feel the safest – in their homes. Violence against women and girls in the home takes place in all countries of the world and may manifest itself in different forms depending on the context. It can occur at the hands of intimate partners or family members.

The costs of violence against women and girls in the home are extremely high. They include the terrible suffering of survivors and others within the household, direct costs of services to treat and support women and girls who have faced abuse, as well as the costs of bringing perpetrators to justice. They may also include the cost of lost education, employment and productivity. Witnessing domestic violence can also impact children’s development, both during childhood and later in life.

FAST FACTS

  • The most common form of violence experienced by women globally is physical violence inflicted by an intimate partner, with women beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused.
  • Several global surveys suggest that half of all women who die from homicide are killed by their current or former husbands or partners.
  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that the annual worldwide number of so-called “honour killing” victims may be as high as 5,000 women.
  • Women aged 15-44 have a greater risk of being a victim of rape and domestic violence than of suffering from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria, according to World Bank data.
  • More than 60 million girls worldwide married before the age of 18, primarily in South Asia (31.1million) and Sub-Saharan Africa (14.1 million).

ORANGE DAY ACTION: WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Many governments made commitments to end violence against women and girls in the home prior to and during the 57th Session of the CSW. Ensure that this momentum is maintained throughout the year, and results in real change.

ACTION 1: Fifty-seven governments made specific commitments to take concrete steps towards ending violence against women as part of the COMMIT initiative. Find out if yours was one of them:  http://saynotoviolence.org/commit

ACTION 2: The Handbook for Legislation on Violence Against Women and the Handbook for National Action Plans for Violence Against Women are resources which respectively illustrate a model framework for legislation on violence against women and provide guidance for policy makers and advocates to form effective plans to end violence against women and girls. Please disseminate these hand books as widely as possible.

ACTION 3: Promote this Orange Day using social media – find below suggested tweets and Facebook messages:

Sample tweets

  • After #CSW57 to #endVAW &girls, this #orangeday UNiTE campaign says: #Safehomes for women & girls! http://owl.li/km1BB
  • Today is the UNiTE campaign’s #orangeday! Wear orange & @SayNO_UNiTE to end #violenceagainstwomen in the home! http://owl.li/km1BB
  • On #orangeday 25 May, support UNiTE campaign & find out how to advocate for #safehomes for women&girls http://owl.li/km1BB
  • This #orangeday advocate for #safehomes for women&girls. Take action. Support UNiTE campaign and wear orange http://owl.li/km1BB
  • Today is UNiTE #orangeday! Find out what commitments govts have made to end #VAW in the home.http://saynotoviolence.org/commit #SayUcommit 

Facebook messages

1. “The 25th of each month is Orange Day – a day to take action to end violence against women and girls. Each month this year the UNiTE campaign will highlight recommendations from the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women to ensure that its conclusions become reality. This month we highlight violence against women and girls in the home. Find out what you can do to make homes safe for women and girls.” http://owl.li/kS5BG

2. “Today is Orange Day – a day to take action against violence against women and girls. This month the UNiTE campaign is highlighting violence against women and girls in the home.  The Handbook for Legislation on Violence against Women and the Handbook for National Action Plans for Violence against Women are resources which provide policy makers and advocate with guidance on how to form effective actions plans and create legislation to end violence against women. Share these tools!” http://owl.li/kS6fC

3. “This Orange Day the UNiTE campaign highlights the global issue of violence against women and girls in the home.  57 governments have committed to take specific steps to address violence against women and girls. Find out what they’ve promised to do!”http://saynotoviolence.org/commit

See you along the (hopefully soon safer) Trail

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